Love is not Arrogant or Rude
Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud” — 1 Corinthians 13:4
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” — John 3:30
“All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.” — Proverbs 8:13
We have more information at the touch of our fingers than any generation ever. Our brains are processing more data which has resulted in more highly educated graduates. Sharing data allows for technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, and new cures in medicine. Although the world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information which is growing daily, we still do not and cannot know it all. Arrogance is based on the presupposition that you are vastly superior in your knowledge and you look down on those who are not at your level of knowledge.
We struggle today with loving our neighbor because we feel like they ought to know better. They make bad choices that we would “never” make, and we are tempted to arrogantly look down on them. But love is not arrogant. We have not reached anywhere near perfection. The Corinthians thought pretty highly of themselves. They thought they were enlightened and superior in many ways. They were puffed up with knowledge and proud of their abilities. Their arrogance allowed a man committing serious sexual sin to carry on in their midst. They even acted arrogantly by taunting the authority of the Apostle Paul. But knowledge without love leads to arrogance.
Love humbles itself in light of the greatness and mercies of Christ. Love is not rude and does not behave in ways that diminish the importance of others in the Christian community. Rather it gives itself to the concerns of others in a Christ-like way. People who love greatly are rarely seen. They are behind the scenes, deflecting praise, and perceived as rather unassuming. They are kind, generous, humble, patient, and happy when others receive blessings. This is the kind of love that is described for us in 1 Corinthians and displayed perfectly by Jesus.
Questions for Thought:
- How are pride and arrogance related? How can arrogance lead to rudeness?
- What are some ways you can identify blind spots in your life? How can you find out if you are unknowingly arrogant or rude? Do you have someone in your life that will tell you the truth without fear of retribution?
God’s Mission, Your Mission
Your mission involves making a difference in the lives of people around you. God said in His Great Commission to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). The only way you can make followers of Christ is by loving them in grace and truth. You will never be able to make a significant positive difference in someone’s life without love.
So it goes without saying that you must have a proper view of self in order to love others. You must be humble about your place in life, grateful for your blessings, happy for the prosperity of others, realistic about your limited knowledge, and modest about your talents. This is only possible through an abiding relationship with Christ. Apart from Christ you have no hope. But with Christ all things are possible. So keep pursuing Christ every day. Ask Him to help you in your weakness. Seek out loved ones to assist you as well. You will need all the help you can get!