God's kindness to us is based on His generosity, not on our merit. God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4) God's kindness is strong and with intention to bear fruit in us. (Gal 5:22, Col 3:12)
While the first two characteristics of Love are positive we now see Paul showing us what love is not. Love is not jealous.
Love isn't a braggart or puffed up. As parents, we don't want our children to feel indebted to us. All that we do, we must remember that we do it for the Lord, whether it be laundry, making dinner or cleaning toilets. It's difficult, maybe, to think about bragging about such remedial tasks, but we find a way. When we make the task about us, our efforts, our sacrifices, we are bragging.
So what is pride? Don't we see that as a positive thing? When we tell our children to "take pride in their appearance"... aren't we just telling them to have good healthy hygiene habits? What's wrong with that? Or what about when, as parents, we're busting our buttons in pride because our children were obedient, or achieved something difficult through hard work and dedication? Is that wrong?
Here is where the Manners section of our lesson comes in. We see here that having good manners is an act of love. Especially in our families we should be exercising good manners, considerations and respect. I often tell my own children that manners are first for family and then for friends. This is a reminder to them that if they aren't practicing love and manners with their siblings, they won't be allowed to spend time with friends. It is easy for us to take our families for granted and not practice good manners on them. It isn't that we want to create a stuffy, uncomfortable atmosphere where we use salad forks and water goblets... although, once in a while it might be a fun thing to do. No, the idea is that love is considerate. It CONSIDERS others' needs and behaves accordingly.
Next month we will continue with 1Corinthians 13 4-8 beginning with "Love is not easily angered"
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