1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

1 Corinthians 13:4

ESV Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
NASB Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
CSB Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant,
NLT Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
KJV Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
NKJV Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

What does 1 Corinthians 13:4 mean?

1 Corinthians 13:4–7 is much loved the world over. Even unbelievers are attracted to Paul's eloquent description of love in these verses. These words are often quoted at weddings or in romantic settings and featured prominently in artwork and merchandise. It's important to remember that Paul is not writing inspirational poetry. Nor is he penning something meant to be a simple starry-eyed mantra. He is driving home a pointed message to the divided, often selfish Christians in Corinth: This is how God expects believers to treat each other. Lack of Christ-like love was at the heart of every one of the problems described in 1 Corinthians so far.

The "love" Paul speaks of in these verses is from the Greek term agape. This is a selfless love, distinguished from sexual desire—eros—and from brotherly love—phileo. These verses include 14 descriptors of agape, all of them verbs. Godly love, from a godly perspective, is defined by what Christians do or do not do. It is not primarily about feelings; nor is it mostly the words which describe them. Love is action: the choice to do or not do in relationships with all other Christians.

Love is patient. Love actively waits for others without resentment. This would include being patient in the face of being hurt or mistreated.

Love is kind. Beyond mere politeness, kindness involves acting for the good of others even when it does not benefit ourselves.

Love does not envy. Envy was alive and active in the Corinthian church, perhaps including the envy of the spiritual gifts and financial success of others. Love sets self aside and celebrates the successes of Christian brothers and sisters.

Love does not boast. Boasting is the work of self-promotion in obvious and subtle ways. Love quits that job and goes to work praising God and other believers, instead.

Love is not arrogant or "puffed up." Arrogance involves confidence in oneself above all others and the expectation that everyone else should feel the same way. Love removes the obstacle of self from the purpose of serving others well.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: