1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Verse 13:4 (NIV)
Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Verse 13:4 (KJV)
The old King James Version of the Bible, sometimes uses words that give fuller meaning than the words we use today. The KJV uses these words in 1 Corinthians 13:4: “Charity vaunteth”. The word vaunteth means to shout out your own prowess, to express your vanity. It can include showing off after besting an opponent, and smirking as you walk by a defeated rival.
We boast for a lot of reasons. We want to be affirmed, and affirmation can be a good thing. But when that becomes our key motivation, when we do anything to gain the approval of others – that means we’ll do anything except show love because life is all about me.
It is not unlike going out to dinner with someone who you are getting to know and then you spend the entire evening talking about yourself. At the end of the evening you realize it has been all about you and nothing else. So, you say to this new friend; I am sorry. I have been talking all about myself tonight. Why don’t you talk a bit about me before the night is over?
The Greek word translated “boast” or “vaunt” comes from a root meaning “windbag.” When we boast, we spew a kind of foul hot air that comes from inner conceit.
Love is not a windbag. It doesn’t demand that its accomplishments be noticed. It doesn’t need to dominate a conversation. It can be happy if someone else shines while it stands quietly on the sidelines.
Father in heaven, let us rest in your accomplishments: in creation, on the cross, and at the resurrection. Help us to boast only in what you have done for us. Help me to be content in who you made me to be. Amen.