Love DOES NOT BRAG.
1 Corinthians 13:4
I looked up lexical aids to help me really understand the meaning of the Greek word used for “brag.” Of course there was the obvious association with boasting, but here’s my favorite part of what I found:
a self display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one’s self excessively
HA! I literally laughed out loud(*). First of all, I laughed because of the linguistically beautiful description of something so heinous and offensive. Cheers for good writing, even in a dictionary entry! And if you happen to know my Love personally, you already know the second reason why this made me laugh.
He is the LAST person to put himself on display, and he does the complete opposite of embellishing. He has so many honors and achievements that it’s easy to think myself a cotton-headed ninny-muggins compared to him. Still, he doesn’t talk about these things. If someone finds out about something great he’s done, he downplays it, excuses it, re-attributes it, or simply changes the subject at the first opportunity. He even has a beautiful plaque honoring an amazing achievement that extremely few people in the world could claim, and it’s on the floor behind me, tucked beside the filing cabinet.
Why? He earned these things. He’s brilliant. He worked his tail off for 13 years AFTER HIGH SCHOOL to achieve his position. Still, he never chooses “Dr.” in the title section of any paperwork we fill out. He would never in a million years even dream of correcting a person who says “Mr.” instead. It’s just not who he is. He would say that he was not brought up to make much of himself. He would say it’s how his dad is, and he has always respected that about him.
But it’s more than that – it’s a deep humility in knowing that making much of yourself makes other people feel unloved. It makes it apparent that you love yourself more than you love them. It shows them that you believe you’re better than them. It alienates them.
My Love would never do that. Even with me, he tries to encourage me by saying I could achieve everything he did if I wanted to. That he’s not smarter than me. That he’s not better than me. To that I always say, “Yeah right!” but he is sincere. He really believes it.
My Love doesn’t brag because it would really get in the way of loving others and helping them to see how brightly they can shine. He always makes ME feel like a million bucks, that’s for sure!
I love you, my Love!
*I will never use the acronym for that expression, because it’s usually a lie in common usage. If I really did laugh out loud, I’ll tell you plainly!