Love Is Patient, Kind, And Does Not Envy
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians and stressed the importance of love, he made fifteen statements where he said, "Love is..." Frankly, when you synthesize those statements and put them together, you come up with something vastly different from today's cultural concept of love. Paul's love is tough, sensitive, and durable yet is fragile and costly.
First, says, Paul, love is patient. I am thinking of a teenage couple who came to me, hoping that I would disagree with their parents who told them they were too young to marry. Clutching the hand of the girl as though she might escape from him, he told me he just couldn't wait. "I've got to have her," he said, becoming angry when I told him that I agreed with the parents.
Then, says Paul, love is kind. Kindness is often interpreted as weakness, and the macho image that we strive to attain leaves little room for kindness. But the kindness of love is tempered by the rule of treating the other person as you would like him to treat you.
Kindness breaks the "eye for an eye" mentality of our day that lives for vengeance and retaliation. It allows you to love your enemies and to do good to those who mistreat you.
The third picture of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is Paul's statement that love does not envy or is not jealous. "Jealousy is as cruel as the grave," wrote Solomon, referring to that green-eyed monster that causes a woman to scorn another's beauty or a man to resent the physique of his competitor. Agape love is the power that makes friends out of enemies.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy.... 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4