Love does not envy or boast. Envy is what stirs us to be jealous of others’ gifting and qualifications and possessions. Paul rebuked the Corinthians in chapter 3, “For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” (1 Cor. 3:3). Love, on the other hand, is not merely human. It is not natural but supernatural, the fruit of the Spirit’s work. It does not draw from the resources of this sinful world (things like jealousy and strife) but by the Spirit is armed with heavenly qualities (such as contentment and joy). As Paul will soon make clear (13:8-13), love is an artifact of the New Heaven and the New Earth, a feature of the restored created order. It is a coin stamped with the currency of the New Jerusalem, reminiscent of the inheritance awaiting us. With love, how can we be envious of others, going about as if we were needy orphans? Love reminds us that we are rich in the gospel, heirs of the King. It frees us from constantly checking the bank account of our lives, comparing the balance with what we see in others.
Love Gives Life, 31-32