Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#4 Love is...

It (Love) does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Envy
Boasting
Pride

As I have been turning this over in mind the past week, it seems there is a common denominator linking these three 'anti-love' verbs.

It seems that both envy and pride are the result of one thing: looking in the wrong place for validation (assurance of one's self worth). And this begins with an action we mindlessly do countless times a day: 

Comparison.

"Does he better provide for his family than me?"
"Am I more beautiful than her?"
"Do my friends like me more than so and so?"
"Could I perform better than him in that role?"

When we ask these internal questions, we have two possible scenarios:
#1 The answer is "Yes...I am better than this person" in some way. As soon as the satisfaction from this answer touches our heart, we're inviting pride to take residence.

#2 The answer is "No... this person exceeds my capabilities." While there is humility in acknowledging the giftedness of others, when we compare to see if we 'measure up', we are allowing seeds of envy to be planted.

Boasting, it seems, follows when we externalize this internal struggle for worth. We need to ensure others are aware of the reasons we should be valued.

The world casts value based on appearance, performance, beauty, success, pleasure...
Those who don't measure up are cast aside as worthless. We are left to compare ourselves to man-made standards, and envy and pride grow where love should abide.

Love speaks a different language. Love says you are infinitely valuable because of whose you are. Because you are made in the image of your creator, and you are his beloved child. There is no need to perform, no need to measure up. You - even in your wounded, broken shell of a person - are precious beyond comprehension. Love crossed heaven and earth to help us understand just how valued we truly are. And finding validation or self worth by any other standard leaves us hating each other or hating ourselves. It turns what was intended as a gift of community filled with genuine bonds of love with one another into a cut-throat competition laden with self-serving motives and shallow relationships. 

So you see, comparing ourselves against other mutually insecure humans makes a mockery of the true worth we were intended to experience in relationship with Christ. It is for this reason...

Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
ejk

1 comment:

j said...

Such truth and beautifully worded. Great reminders of why it is important to base our identity in Him. Easier to do when I keep my eyes heavenward...more difficult to do when I stray toward worldiness. Makes me acknowledge the vital importance in creating time to stay intimate with My Father....following closely on His heels is always a win-win. Thanks for sharing.