Paul continues his description of love. It is not jealous, or boastful, or proud, or rude, he says. And one need only think of Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, the Love of God in human form, born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem to see how true these words really are.In his masterful work, Mere Christianity, C S Lewis makes the point that nearly everybody is conceited, we cannot stand conceit in our fellow man, and most people (unless enlightened by the Gospel) are blind to their own conceit.
So when we come face to face with the Love of God, we find something so far out of our experience, that it takes the power of God to work it out within us.
Love is not jealous, Paul says, and again I think of Jesus, freely sharing His Father with His disciples. “He’s your Father, too,” He told them over and over. He didn’t just guard His family, keeping it to Himself; He opened wide the doors, enabling all who believed and received Him to become His brethren and share His Father.
Love is not boastful or proud. Once touched by the undeserved and limitless Love and Mercy of God, the soul that believes and follows Jesus becomes humble by realizing and accepting the truth. “By the Grace of God, I am what I am” becomes our statement to the world, and replaces the clamour for recognition that is common to nearly all men. Jesus’ followers take Him at His word; they pray in their closets, not on the street corners; they do their alms in secret, not to the sound of a trumpet; and they fast with cheerful faces, so that only God sees their service.
Love is not rude. A rude person, simply put, is someone who thinks himself more important than others, and puts himself before them. One outstanding characteristic of Jesus and His followers is their genuine concern and compassion for others; this works out in a willingness to set our own lives aside, in obedience to God’s direction, in the service of others.
“Learn of Me,” Jesus said. “I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest to your souls.” Even so, may we come to rest in His Love; may it fill our hearts to overflowing and spill over onto all around us. May we be like Him. Amen