Having published seven posts on jealousy I am moving on today. Paul emphasised that love “does not envy.” Then he continues: “It does not boast.” (1 Corinthians 4b/NIV).
Jealousy primarily is an attitude. Attitudes can lead us to various actions or words. Boasting, however, has always to do with speaking. It refers to a way how you can mention your achievements, abilities or possessions.
Jealousy has to do with magnifying what somebody else has or can do. It includes being unhappy about that. It can be accompanied by a desire to take away from the other and to hinder the other’s progress.
Somebody who boasts stresses his own skills or riches. He is preoccupied by these. He intends to demand due respect and recognition from others.
In Christian believers’ words, the jealous and the boaster, both of them, focus on things of this earth rather than on the Lord and what is important in His sight. Paul simply states that jealousy and boasting are not aspects of the love that he describes and commends.
I have said that boasting has to do with speaking. Earlier in the chapter Paul has variously alluded to how we talk to others. He has referred to speaking “with tongues of men and of angels” and he has emphasised the need for love in prophesying.
About two years ago I published my first post on this blog. In the beginning visitors were extremely rare. This changed only when I did a Word Press course on blogging. At that time I advertised one of my posts readable to all the other bloggers, who did the same course at the time. I said I am dealing with communication.
The manner how you communicate your thoughts is a matter of interest to any blogger. This brought about a change in my statistics. Some decided to follow my blog.
You can talk and speak many things. But it is wise at least to try imagining what reactions and feelings your words might evoke from another person.
How should somebody else react to what we say? How would we ourselves feel if another should address us in just the same manner?
I am afraid a boastful person may lose sight of those who come to hear his or her words. Boasting is a way of being preoccupied with one’s own interests and concerns.
Of course there may be those who have similar feelings and ambitions. Somebody who boasts perhaps is looking for others who would join him.
Not all that we say will be readily understood and appreciated by just anybody. Some may even feel encouraged by specific ‘boastful’ words.
The kind of love Paul is writing about here is a love extended not merely to close friends. The King James Version makes this quite evident, speaking of ‘charity’. Individuals in need may not benefit from boastful words. Paul concludes: Charitable love does not boast.