Pastor’s Class Notes
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
1 CORINTHIANS 13:5b-c
1 Corinthians 13:5b “. . .[Charity] seeketh not her own, is not
easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”
VII. LOVE SEEKETH NOT HER OWN
Love does not seek selfish advantage. Barclay claims there are two kinds of people in the world: those who constantly think of their rights and those who constantly think of their duties; those who insist upon their privileges and those who always remember their responsibilities; those who think what life owes them and those who never forget what they owe life. Whenever we start thinking about “our place,” we are not only drifting away from Christian love, but also from happiness. There is no happiness in having or getting, but only in giving. And half the world is on the wrong scent of happiness (Drummond).
Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” One of my happiest Christmases was the first one I had money with which to buy gifts. I left for the store with $40 and returned with 40¢ and was as happy as I could be.
Now, there must be some self-love, for Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” But charity never seeks its own to the hurt or neglect of others.
Lord, help me live from day to day Help me in all the work I do
In such a self-forgetful way To ever be sincere and true
That even when I kneel to pray And know that all I’d do for you
My prayer shall be for others. Must needs be done for others.
Let “self” be crucified and slain And when my work on earth is done
And buried deep: and all in vain And my new work in heaven’s begun,
May efforts be to rise again May I forget the crown I’ve won
Unless to live for others. While thinking still of others.
VIII. LOVE IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED
Phillips translation: It “is not touchy.” Love has a good temper. Temper trouble is one of man’s worst sins. “The peculiarity of ill-temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. We speak of it as a “mere infirmity of nature, a family failing, a matter of temperament, not a thing to take into very serious account in estimating a man’s character” (Drummond). However, the Bible never takes a nonchalant attitude toward bad tempers:
“Anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (EC 7:9)
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife” (PR 15:18 NASB)
“Men are to pray “without wrath” (1TM 2:8)
“Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (EP 4:26)
There is nothing manly or beautiful about temper fits. They are vile, ugly, and sinful. Such people must be handled with kid gloves and handled on a pillow. You can never relax in their presence.
Few things in society are more despicable than hotheadedness. “For sheer gratuitous misery-producing power, this influence stands alone” (Drummond). But where the fire of love is kept in, the flames of wrath will not easily kindle, nor long keep burning (MH). Your ill temper is telling you that you have a love shortage.