February 18

LOVE IS…Without BOASTING or PRIDE! – part 4

God’s love is powerful beyond our comprehension. God’s love has no limits. It has no bounds. Yet in the fullness of its strength, God’s love is humble – reaching into the lives and hearts of His children. True love has no need to boast or act in prideful ways. True love’s amazing power is self-evident not self-aggrandizing.

Love does not boast, Love is not proud. – I Corinthians 13:4

God’s love does not ask us to put ourselves down. God actually calls us to love ourselves according to God’s good way: We are to love God and others as we love ourselves. And true love is to be completely void of any and all self-important boasting and self-focused or self-righteous pride. Love does not boast, Love is not proud.

Several years ago Tim and I were first asked to speak at The Marriage Course offered by our (East Coast) home church. We were happy to share what God has done, is doing and will continue to do in our marriage. This opportunity made us step-back and analyze: What is it that makes our marriage what it is? Absolutely, the over-arching answer is love. God’s love is the all-encompassing foundation and fortress for our marriage, for us living out our lives as lovers, partners, parents and friends.

As we dug down deeper into what makes our marriage work in the midst of all that comes at us in life, the answer we both came up with is this: Humility. Huh!? Yes, humility. Not boasting. Not pride. Not self-focused thinking or selfishly-demanding behaviors (at least not too often!). True love knows that humility is a powerful and strengthening force in any relationship. There is nothing weak in true humility. It is one of God’s most powerful weapons against everything that would destroy relationships. True love lifts up the other. Builds up the other. Encourages the other. Strengthens the other. Love does not boast, Love is not proud.

Doesn’t it make sense that humility – not boasting, not prideful actions – is what truly builds any relationship in amazing ways? Think about it: God’s fullest revelation of love came through the absolute, extravagant humility of Jesus Christ. Jesus humbled Himself and submitted His will to do what the Father, whom He loved so much, wanted Him to do. Jesus humbled Himself so that all the children of God would know the boundless love of their Heavenly Father. Through the humility of Jesus our enslavement to sin and the power of death were crushed and conquered for all eternity. There is no weakness in humility.

All forms of boasting, all expressions of selfish pride are deadly to all relationships. Humility is the expression of true love that is strong enough to be fully authentic without any puffed-up presentation of self. It just isn’t necessary. The extravagant humility and self-sacrificing love of Jesus prove this. God offers us this same power to love as He loves. True love is strong enough to be humble. Love does not boast, Love is not proud.