Friday, February 12, 2010

Behaving Oneself Unseemly

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. ~ 1 Cor 13:4-7 (KJV)

Love, agape in greek, is God's love. It is the love that is defined by what it does or doesn't do. It is not an emotion. It is a fruit of the spirit that manifests itself in selflessness (disinterest) in favor of the good of others. There is the brotherly love of phileo that is referred to elsewhere, but the love that is described here is God's own special love that only comes from someone who is born from above or born from the Holy Spirit.

The specific part that I want to focus on is the "Behaving oneself unseemly". This verb is translated in the greek as: to be unseemly. It is used in 1Co_7:36 «improper»; That is, to act in such a way as to expose a virgin to a dangerous situation or contempt; and in 1Co_13.5: «is not unseemly».

How would I act unseemly or improper toward someone else? Maybe in the case of acting in such a way with a girl that would make me feel more important or powerful without caring for her good or reputation. Men in our society do this all the time. Learning how to womanize and attract women so as to have their way with them. Buying the 'axe' cologne or listening to advice on how to 'get a woman'. These attempts focus not on selflessly loving and looking out for the good of the opposite sex but of glorifying ourselves to create an idol that someone will worship so that we can gratify our selfish and sinful desires or some perverted craving for praise, approval or attention.

Another way of behaving myself unseemly would be to say or do something that would cause someone else to be looked at with shame or disrespect. How about playing basketball against someone with the intent of showing them how pitiful their skills are in keeping us from scoring or in scoring a goal against us. It is getting the better of someone specifically to lift ourselves up and put them down. This can happen in work when we point out someone else's failures so that we can laugh with others about someone so that we don't look bad.

This behaving ourself improper towards others has wide reaching implications. This is just one of the ways we can fail to show love to others. Conversely, if I want to show love to someone else, I think about their good and what will show them honor. With the opposite sex, I treat them with dignity and kindness. I don't look for ways to glorify myself at their expense. I don't look for ways to dishonor God's command to treat them "as sisters in all purity". In my dealings at work, I give thought to how I speak to people to not do so dis-respectfully or flippantly. I think about the way that I address others.

In light of this, what are we to conclude? Is my life progressively moving toward treating people with more respect and caring less about my own glory? If not, maybe I should re-examine my own salvation to see if I even have the Holy Spirit at all.

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