1 Corinthians 13:4
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
As we have covered earlier, Paul wrote to the Corinthians to address some very serious problems in that church. As we covered, the church at Corinth was blessed with an exceeding blessing of spiritual gifts. One of the problems was that their gifts had turned from blessing which should have unified them to cursings which were dividing them!
Why was this occurring? Simply put, jealousy. Instead of rejoicing in the gifts of others, they were becoming upset that they didn’t have the same gifts. Not having a particular gift was taking away their ability to be the center of things.
If we are honest, we have all been guilty of this offense. I certainly have. I love to sing, but on my best day I am quite average. On the other hand, others have voices like angels and people are just so inspired by hearing them. I have to admit looking upon that and wishing it was me so that those folks would be telling ME those good things. That hurts to say, but it is true.
I am hardly alone, though, am I? We have all done something like that at some point. When we do that, who has the gift come to be about? That’s right: when we do that we make our gifts, or the gifts of others about us rather than God.
Love, however, is not jealous. Our focus should always be how an activity edifies and builds up God and our church, not about how it builds US up.