Once again today I am focussing on the first phrase of verse 5 in 1 Corinthians 13. I am going to share some thoughts based on another English version.
Love “is not injurious”. That is the rendering of the Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) copyrighted by the Life Sentence Publishing Incorporation. This name seems to suggest that the JUB may have been written with the idea to provide a translation understandable for prisoners.
Certainly the word “injurious” is very plain. Still I feel this translation is meaningful to all people and not merely for those who at times have tended to giving in to an inclination towards crime.
The kind of love Paul is writing about would take care not to hurt other people. This may refer to words or deeds.
We may not always be aware of being offensive or hurtful to others. People vary as for physical constitution and psychological makeup.
What some may consider a friendly clap may appear to be a severe punch to others. Some may feel they are being teased by the same words that perhaps would cause others to feel deeply offended.
Some have a good sense of humour. At times they even enjoy laughing about themselves. Good humour can help to go through life more happily and more at ease.
There are people who do not feel insulted easily. Yet still there may be words or actions that are a real challenge even to otherwise serene individuals.
St. Paul here says love would seek to avoid whatever will make others feel hurt. Love would do her best to care about the feelings of family members, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing goals that are worth it. Seeking to achieve something may require a lot of self-discipline. While others merely enjoy themselves some may keep themselves busy trying to solve problems in order to reach what they are aiming at.
I have been looking again over my list of possible translations of 1 Corinthians 13:5. I was interested to see that the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition has: Love “is not ambitious…”
Is ambitious really synonymous with rude? I don’t think both words are completely interchangeable. Not all who are seeking to be successful are necessarily careless about good manners.
On the other hand as you place personal success and striving for distinction very highly, it is quite possible that you fail to appreciate other people, who disagree with your outlooks and views. You might feel annoyed with people who tend to take things very lightly.
How would an ambitious individual treat others who don’t share or support his own goals? Being ambitious can amount to being rude and unmannerly.
As yet, I want to further examine ambition by asking some other questions: What are you doing in order to achieve your goals? What measures are you taking to reach what you are aiming for?
You may say a good goal justifies the means employed. But does it justify any means?
Certainly love would be careful not to infringe legitimate rights of others. Love would always consider the weak and the needy.
“Love is not ambitious”. It does not place personal success and distinction higher than the livelihood of other people.
It is good for us to submit our own goals and our methods to clear-cut ethical values. Love would be considerate of others even when being strained with effort.