1 Cor. 13:4 – Longsuffering, Kind, Not Envious or Bragging

Translation and Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS 16 Aug 2009


Love seems to be the mother of all the fruits of the spirit. What is love?

Review general word study on agaph from two weeks ago


13:4 Love suffers long; it is kind, love does not envy; love does not brag; it is not puffed up.

Let’s examine these first five principles of love one at a time:

1) Love suffers long – makrwthumei

If I spend my days building skyscrapers with blocks, assembling cool stuff out of LEGOs and creating relationships with other moms at Starbucks, but have not love, I am only the siren of the kids' ride-on fire truck, annoyingly stuck on hold.

     If I have the gift of knowing which child attempted to flush the Hot Wheels down the toilet and which one pushed her sister, and if I have faith that somehow I'll survive life's emergencies, but have not love, I am nothing.

     If I save all my box tops for school and give outgrown clothing to the local shelter, and if I surrender my body to stretch marks and under-eye circles... but have not love, I gain nothing.

     Love is patient when someone isn't ready to use the big girl potty. It is kind when my husband has a hard day. It doesn't envy my neighbor who drives the new sport utility vehicle I can't afford.

     It is not rude, snapping at my spouse or children when things don't go my way. It is not easily angered at perceived or real injustices.

     It always protects the smallest, sweetest family confidences; always trusts God to provide my children's needs; always hopes in the freshness of tomorrow and the bright future of family; always perseveres amid hardship and doubt.

     Where there are sleepless nights, they shall end. Where there are diapers, Little League and dioramas built from shoe-boxes, they will cease. Where there is knowledge of baby-care trends, discipline strategies and boy-girl problems, it will pass away.

     Now these three remain: faith, lived out in my daily circumstances and instilled in my children; hope, of one day rejoicing with my family in heaven; and love, which covers over a multitude of less-than-perfect moments. But the greatest of these is love.

2) [Love] Practices kindness/is kind, gentle in behavior (ATR), merciful (Clark), useful, gracious, kind (Thay.)

3) Love Does not envy/is not jealous – ou zayloi (G2206)

4) Love Does not parade itself/does not boast/brag/not ostentatious [perpereuetai - Hapex. Leg.]

5) [Love] Is not puffed up/arrogant/proud



13:4 Love suffers long; it is kind, love does not envy; love does not brag; it is not puffed up.

You had no place to lay Your head, Savior of the world.

A stranger’s house in borrowed bed, savior of the world.

As I lie here in this luxury that I have always known,

Oh Savior of the world, come and heal this heart of stone!

Come and heal this heart of stone!

…Make my hands like Your hands.

If they must be wounded,

let all the pain that I may feel make me merciful and kind.

Savior of the world, change my heart, change my mind.

Do you think that you can change my mind?