1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,…
The apostle gives a very beautiful description of some of the qualities of love. True love is -
I. PATIENT AND UNCOMPLAINING. It:
1. "Suffereth long," under provocation and injury.
2. "Is not easily provoked." Is not irritable - not allied to anger.
3. "Beareth all things." Is willing to bear burdens that others may be free. Rather hides than advertises injuries received. Does not revenge.
4. "Endureth all things." Neglect and persecution in a calm and Christian spirit.
II. KIND. Willing to perform good offices for others. Desires to be useful, obliging, helpful. Is kind after much suffering and ill usage. Is kind when showing mercy. Some show mercy unkindly, and utterly spoil the beauty of the deed.
III. HUMBLE. (Ver. 4.) Does not lead to vaunting, as the possession of supernatural gifts did amongst the Corinthians. Is not puffed up with pride, which is closely related to party zeal, as in those at Corinth who cried "I am of Paul, and I of Apollos," etc. Does not seek to win praise or applause.
IV. UNSELFISH. "Seeketh not her own." Loses sight largely of self. The Corinthians cried, "I... I... I," because they had little love. Love is not filled with thoughts of her own rights; she thinks rather of the rights of others. "Envieth not." Is not jealous of the endowments of others; recognizes that "God hath set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him" (1 Corinthians 12:18).
V. DECOROUS. (Ver. 5.) Keeps within the bounds of propriety; is courteous. Absence of love leads to gross disorders, as at the Lord's table at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:21, 22).
VI. CHARITABLE IN JUDGMENT, "Thinketh no evil." Does not delight to impute motives. Does not make the worst, but the best of things. Does not gloat over the evil done.
VII. PURE. "Rejoiceth not in iniquity [or, 'unrighteousness'], but rejoiceth with the truth" (ver. 6). Is not in sympathy with evil. Is not pleased to see it, but pained. When the truth triumphs, love rejoices.
VIII. TRUSTFUL. "Believeth all things" (ver. 7). Is not suspicious. Does not esteem doubt and distrust the chief virtues. Believes all that can with a good conscience be believed to the credit of others.
IX. HOPEFUL. "Hopeth all things" (ver. 7). Hopes when others without love have ceased to hope; is loth to regard any as hopeless. Hopes for good rather than for bad from men. Is not allied to despondency and despair. Is anchored in God and hopes on. Thus sweetly does the apostle chant the praises of true Christian love. - H.
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,