Love is “…not puffed up.” (1 Corinthians 13:4/KJV). Currently I am dealing with Paul’s statement that pride is not an aspect of love.
I have referred to an inflated balloon that can be carried away easily by upcoming storms. Christian ministry is to help believers grow in maturity so they should not be “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine”. (Cf. Ephesians 4:13-14).
The Greek word translated ‘puffed up’ occurs several times in the New Testament being rendered alike in the King James Version. Last week’s post was inspired by the first occurring of this word in 1 Corinthians 4. Later in the same chapter in verses 18 and 19 we find this word again:
“Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.” In the following verse he explains: “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
Obviously words are a very prominent aspect of Christian culture today. You just need to read some Christian blogs such as mine, to make out they are largely composed of words. Admittedly there are some photographs and some occasional links too.
Here Paul says mere words are not a proof of healthy Christian living. Word’s alone do not show, if you are a mature Christian.
At times it is easy to say great things. Yet what is going to happen, if difficulties should arise? Are you really strongly convinced of your beliefs? Is God giving you the power to stand testings?
Earlier in the chapter Paul mentions the many problems and adversities he had to face as an apostle and a minister of the gospel. Life could have been much easier for him, had he given up proclaiming this message. Yet he endured and carried on.
“The kingdom of Got is not in word, but in power.” What else could he mean by power?
Paul also mentions that he had become a spiritual father to the Corinthians: “for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 4:15b/KJV). He had been preaching the good news and together with integrity of character and holy living this became a clear signal to the Corinthians to show them the way to Christ Jesus. As he himself was full of faith, he could guide others to trust in God.
At times Christian believers tend to become proud and self-satisfied with spiritual experiences made and blessings received. God, however, would be able to give us so much more, if we would continue to humbly seek after him and pray to him.