Puffer Fish

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is not puffed up

Perhaps I skipped over this too quickly yesterday as linked arrogance with bragging. As I prepared for today I looked over verse 4 to see if perhaps I might have missed something and this is one aspect I had overlooked.

1 Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

A puffer fish will make himself look bigger than he actually is for defensive purposes. It is not an offensive position, it is defensive.

I have found myself at times being defensive with what I know. I was protecting myself, not the Word of God. The Word of God stands on its own and so does God’s perfect love. I should never feel like I need to be defensive with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

From the outside, a worldly viewpoint, non-Christians will think; “Who does he think he is?” The love of God is meant to attract the lost, not put them off. The main reason for His indwelling love is to reach the lost. Being defensive with people who do not know you does not draw them to God.

This also makes me wonder if when I see others who “puff themselves up” are they being defensive? If it is a brother or sister in Christ, I can confess my condition as perhaps an opportunity to draw them into a meaningful conversation. I’ve had to learn that not all people are introspective. I was like that when I was at my worst. Perhaps I knew in my heart I was wrong and just didn’t want to look inward, knowing what I would find.

Confessing our weaknesses will only make us (the church) stronger.


1 Corinthians 13:4d love doesn’t not brag, is not arrogant

The two are so closely entwined, I will include arrogance along with bragging. One is the vocal announcement of the other. You can be arrogant without even speaking.

Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

The KJV uses the word vaunteth, such an archaic word, so easily misunderstood. I always thought it meant, does not put itself first. We will look to selfish in verse 5 later but for this devotional let us examine this thought about agape love putting itself first.

Agape love does not brag and is not arrogant but it does want to be seen first. Agape love is the only love that changes lives for the better. God does want you to place His perfect love at the forefront of all you do for the lost to show them the God of their salvation.

More than that, what kind of person would you be today is God didn’t put His love at the forefront in your heart?

Psalm 115:12a The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us;

He has blessed us with His indwelling perfect love.

Luke 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

Our inward part is the resident temple of God’s perfect love. Why should it take the back seat to any other type of love?

The transition from internal to external is our part, our service, our sacrifice. Allowing that to happen without bragging or being arrogant takes a new mindset.

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.