Love … is not proud…
—1 Corinthians 13:4
The ancient church at Corinth was full of spiritual showoffs. Braggarts constantly vied for public attention. As a result, worship services in that congregation were chaotic, with everybody talking at the same time like prima donnas starving for publicity. Paul gives those attention seekers a remedy in 1 Corinthians 14.
Veteran Christians today may be too sophisticated for the trash talking that happens at sports events, but they can be masters of tilting a conversation to accent their own strengths.
William Carey was a missionary pioneer. An ordinary working-class person, he had a vision of telling people all over the world about Jesus. A natural linguist, he went to India and translated the Bible into 34 different languages. While there, he lived with the British, who at that time governed India. Many Brits in India were nobility or military officers who had gone to the best schools; Carey had not.
One day at a formal dinner another man was talking to Carey and said in a voice just a little too loud, “Mr. Carey, I understand, sir, that you were a shoemaker.” It was a carefully placed put-down in a world of British aristocrats. Carey responded, “No. I don’t know where you heard that. It isn’t true. I was a cobbler. I repaired shoes, but I didn’t have enough skill to make them.”
Love is not proud or puffed up.
Lord, so often we talk big because we feel small. We growl like a giant because we feel like a dwarf. Rescue us in Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
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