Just suppose you were a parent and you had a tiny baby in your arms that was born to you only recently. Imagine you were exceedingly happy to have him and you loved him with all your heart. Think you were full of love and eager to do whatever might be in your power to pursue his very best.
Can you think on these lines? Of course as for most of you I do not know anything about your life circumstances, if you are married or if you have children. But for the purpose of this post I want you to imagine this: You are a loving parent of a nearly newborn child.
Now I want to ask you a number of questions. As you are engrossed and really love this baby would you at the same time entertain envious thoughts against this little creature? Would you begin to feel: O, now my partner is always concerned with this baby. He also keeps me very busy. I wish people would care for me in the same way.
Perhaps such thoughts might occasionally arise. You might get exhausted not being able to sleep a whole night because the baby needs to be cared for. That is human.
But you might well be aware that such thoughts would not spring up from your love to this child. Such notions would spring up for other reasons.
I am trying to help you understand Paul’s words. He said: Love does not envy. Envious thoughts might come to you for whatever reasons. But envious thoughts are not a result of love.
Or think again of yourself having this tiny baby of yours in your arms. Imagine you greatly love him.
Would you at the same time begin to say to that small human being: “I myself am so much more valuable than you ever can be. I am a really great person. I have achieved many things in my life.”
Do you get what I am trying to explain? If you ever should be saying or thinking anything of the kind, this would not be the voice of love. Such feelings are not a result of love. St. Paul says: “Love does not boast. It is not proud.”
This is to conclude my discussion of 1 Corinthians 13 verse 4. A look at my categories shows, this one included, I have written 43 posts on this verse.