It is written:
1 Corinthians 13:4-Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
The Apostle tells us that the love which God would have us learn and practice is a love that does not “parade itself.” The Greek here has the meaning of “showing off” one’s traits or accomplishments. Now, there was nothing wrong with being thankful for other brothers and sisters and their gifts. We need more encouragement in the world today. However, this was not the issue that Paul addresses here. Some in the church were so busy “tooting their own horns” that they didn’t see where they were driving, so to speak. They were so filled with pride that they forgot to be thankful to God!
This was, sadly, a characteristics of some of the brethren in Corinth who were causing such havoc in the church. Paul mentions this characteristic of them time after time, while warning us away from such:
1 Corinthians 3:21-Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:
I Corinthians 4:6-7-Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1 Corinthians 5:6-Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
Some of the brethren there were boasting about their spiritual gifts. Like today, there was childish behavior which culminated in their fractured state.
Instead of being boastful, we should use whatever gifts that God has given us with humility. Our focus should always be on building up our brothers and sisters.
1 Corinthians 8:1-Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
1 Corinthians 10:23-All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
1 Corinthians 14:5-I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
1 Corinthians 14:12-Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
1 Corinthians 14:26-How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
Maturity in love will cause us to look beyond our gift, and look to the Giftgiver.
When I was in preaching school, our instructor on homiletics (the art of public speaking) reminded us time after time that the goal of a true Gospel preacher is to get people to look beyond him to the Cross.
I humbly suggest that we take that further and say that the goal of every true Christian should be to help each other-Christian and non-Christian-to look from the gifts we possess to the Giver of every good and every perfect gift.
How are we using our gifts that God has given us?
Do we lovingly use them to build up our brothers and sisters?
Or do we use them to puff ourselves up?
Love does not parade itself.
Let us not brag about our works or our accomplishments, but let us glory in the Cross.
2 Corinthians 9:15-Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!