Eight qualities that are inconsistent with love

(Photo: Unsplash/Jennifer Burk)

One of the characteristics of love is the constraining nature of love - the things that love does not do.

Here are the eight qualities that are inconsistent with love, and therefore, should be avoided. Because you love, therefore, you don't do these things.

First, Paul states that love does not envy or boast. Jealousy is not a strange thing in the church of Corinth. In fact, it divided the Corinthian church. First Corinthians chapter 3, verse 3 says, "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only is a human way?"

Envy and jealousy are the hardest battle for many Christians, including me. When I was in seminary, I was envious of some my friends, because some of them got married and moved on with their lives or got promotions. In seminary, there was always someone who did things better than me, was more gifted, given more opportunities, got more praise, and so my first natural reaction was to envy. That is not love because love does not envy.

Instead, love rejoices in others. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 26, Paul writes, "If one member suffers, all suffer together, if one member is honored, all rejoice together." The cure for jealousy is to rejoice in others, to congratulate others, and to appreciate others, and thank the Lord for them.

Love does not boast. Boasting and envying have the same denominator, which is the preoccupation with self. Boasting and bragging seek attention. It seeks the empty praise of men. Success could become a problem in disguise because it tends to inflate our ego and pride. Instead, love does not brag, but it promotes and praises others. It focuses on others, pushing others to center stage, and in the spotlight.

Next, love is not arrogant. Like the sin of boasting, arrogance is a sinful preoccupation of oneself. The word "arrogant" in this verse means "to be puffed up.".

C.S. Lewis said, "Pride is the utmost evil, the greatest sin, the most vice of all. It is the root of all sins."

The opposite of arrogance and pride is humility. Humility is to think modestly about oneself and to think highly of others. Lewis famously said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."

Love is not rude. The word "rude" speaks of poor manners and impolite behaviors. Love does not behave improperly towards other people. The lack of love was evident in the rude behaviors of the church in Corinth. The rich members of the church didn't wait for the poorer ones to arrive for the Lord's supper.

Instead, they selfishly went ahead and ate their own expensive foods and left little food for the poor to eat (1 Corinthians 11:21-22 and 33). Rudeness and impolite behaviors can hinder or turn people away from Christ before they have a chance to hear the gospel.

Love does not seek its own

The root of fallen human nature is that it wants to have its own way. Love regards others and their interests more important than ourselves and our interests. Think about this: if Jesus had sought His own interests, there would be no cross, and there would be no salvation.

Love is not easily provoked. A remarkable quality of love is that it is not easily provoked to an emotional state of anger. Love is not irritable. Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 24 says, "The servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil."

Lastly, love does not consider a wrong suffered. In other words, love does not keep scores. Love does not seek vengeance. Love forgives and forgets.

Therefore, we need to cultivate a spirit of forgetfulness so when people wrong us or sin against us, we don't have to get back at them every single time. Imagine living a life like that, where you kept score every time. Life would be miserable. First Peter chapter 4, 8 says, "Love covers multitude of sins."

Think about Jesus, an innocent man, who was mocked and crucified by the hands of sinful men, and yet Jesus said, "Lord, forgive them for they do not know what they were doing." How much more should we as sinful men need to forgive and forget when people wrong against us?

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love produces joy. There is a holy and satisfying joy in loving God and other people.