1 Corinthians 13:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind l. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
From an early age we are taught to be proud of who we are and in what we are doing. Now we come to the part of love in 1 Corinthian 13: 4 that says we are not to be proud, how do we reconcile these two ideas? Let us first look at what being proud is and then see how Jesus handled pride.
Our scripture understands being proud as to elevate ourselves or to be puffed up. This will often lead us to the point that suggest we are better than other people. This is different than taking pride in what we are doing or who we are. In being proud of who we are, we take an honest look at our abilities, and our accomplishments putting them in the proper perspective. Romans 12: 3 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should – don’t be puffed up. Colossians 3: 23 tells us that what ever we do we are to do it to the best of our ability as if we are doing for the Lord. For us there is often a fine line between these two types of pride, so let us look at how Jesus dealt with pride.
Jesus from an early age knew who he was and yet he did not lord this fact over others. When Tomas asked Jesus how they could know where Jesus was going Jesus simply answered that he was the way the truth and the life and that there was no other way to get to the father. He also told them that because they have seen him, they now have seen and known the father. Jesus knew who he was and yet did not lord it over other because of the love he had for them.
Because Jesus lives in the lives of his followers he has given us this type of love. Let us know that God has given each of us a spiritual gift that we are to use to build the kingdom of God. Each one of has their place and we are not more important than another. Some of us may receive more attention than others but we are all equal in the sight of God.
One last thought. Luke 14: 8 tells us that when we are invited to a gathering do not seek the place of honor because some one of more importance may be invited and you will be seated at a much lower place. Instead look for a lower seat and then the host can seat you at a higher seat. It is not our pride that will elevate us but the pride others have in us. The pride that the father had in the son allowed Jesus to set at the fathers right hand. As we imitate Christ the father will be proud to call us children of the most high.
Let not your love for others be puffed up that you may draw others to Christ.