Love Does Not Behave Rudely, Does Not Seek Its Own (1 Corinthians 13:5a).
Love Does Not Behave Rudely
The principle here has simply to do with bad manners or with acting rudely. It is not as serious as parading yourself or being arrogant, but it stems from the same lovelessness. It does not care enough for those it is around to act politely. It cares nothing for their feelings.
The loveless person is insensitive, rude, overbearing and crude. The Corinthian Christians were models of loveless behaviour. Nearly everything the Corinthian believers did was selfish and unloving. Even when they came together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper they were offensive. “For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk” (1 Corinthians 11:21).
There was complete confusion during the worship service because each to outdo the other in speaking in tongues. They all spoke at once and tried to be the most dramatic and prominent. The church was in total disorder, the opposite of what Paul had taught them. “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1Corinthians 14:40).
Graciousness should adorn the Christian character. The Christian who is ungracious and inconsiderate is also a Christian who is unloving. As Christians we need to be sensitive to others, otherwise we can turn people away from Christ before they have a chance to hear the gospel. The messenger may well become a barrier to the message.
If the lost cannot see the “gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1) in us, they are less likely to see Him clearly in the message we preach.
Love Does Not Seek Its Own.
Again, the Corinthian believers were examples of what loving Christians should not be. They did not share their food, they defended their rights, even to the point of suing fellow believers in pagan law courts and they wanted to exercise only the best spiritual gifts on themselves, and not for the building up of others.
“Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you are to seek to excel” (1 Corinthians 14:12).
They had become so self-seeking that they would use their gifts to try and build up themselves having total disregard for their fellow believers. As always, Jesus is our perfect model. He “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).
Paul also wrote, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).
Jesus lived His life for others. He never sought His own welfare, but always the welfare of others.
Written by John Denman
From “THE QUALITIES OF LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)”
Photos by Kerry Bong