What does 1 Corinthians 13:5 mean?
ESV: or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
NIV: It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
NASB: It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered,
CSB: is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs.
NLT: or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
KJV: Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
NKJV: does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Verse Commentary:
Paul is describing what is so deeply lacking in the Corinthian church: true, Christ-like love. This missing ingredient is at the heart of nearly every problem the church is facing. Paul describes love as a series of actions verbs, seven positive and seven negative. These define the character of godly, self-sacrificing love, from the Greek term agape.

Love is not rude. To be rude is to act "indecently." Rudeness was on display in the church in Corinth in their disorderly worship services and selfish communion meals (1 Corinthians 11:17–22), as well as in the man who was sleeping with his father's wife (1 Corinthians 5:1–2). Rudeness insists on self-expression and self-gratification at the expense of the feelings and experience of others.

Love does not insist on its own way. It is not self-seeking. Love yields. Much of the Corinthian church's problems would have disappeared if they focused on looking for ways to meet each other's needs before satisfying their own.

Love is not irritable or easily angered. A quick temper is often evidence of viewing other people as obstacles to reaching one's own goals. Love views serving other people as the goal itself, removing one reason to flare up when they get in our way.

Love is not resentful. It does not keep a record of wrongs. Natural human instinct is to keep score, to get even, to hold on to hurt feelings against those who have mistreated us. Christlike love follows the pattern of Ephesians 4:32, recognizing the great sin God has forgiven in us through Christ and turning to do the same for those who sin against us.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 13:1–13 is one of the most loved and well-known passages in the Bible, but Paul places it after his teaching on the spiritual gifts for a specific reason. Some of the gifts may seem impressive, but if attempted without self-sacrificing love for others, they become meaningless, even destructive. Paul uses 14 verbs to describe what love does and does not do. Love is the foundation for Paul's teaching in the following chapter on prophecy, tongues, and even orderly worship. While this section is often quoted in romantic settings, such as a wedding, the concept in mind is that of agape: a self-sacrificing, godly love.
Chapter Summary:
Paul responds to the Corinthians' over-emphasis on certain spiritual gifts by showing them that all gifts are worthless if not practiced through godly love. Paul provides 14 descriptors of love, all action verbs, all choices made out of a commitment to set self aside and serve others. Choosing to love each other in this way would solve many of the problems Paul has confronted in this letter. The spiritual gifts provide a glimpse of what is knowable, but when the perfect comes, we will know all. Love is the greatest of all the virtues.
Chapter Context:
Paul's teaching on love fits firmly into the context of 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. These sentences have a somewhat different style than the surrounding words, suggesting Paul might have inserted something he'd written previously into this section. These are not meant to be a diversion, however. Lack of love was at the heart of most of the Corinthians' problems and divisions. As Paul describes it, God's kind of love sets self aside, over and over, endlessly, for the good of others. Spiritual gifts exist for the building up of the church now, but believers will live in love for eternity. Christ-like love is the greatest of all the virtues, and it should be the priority of every Christian.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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