Love “is not”…

by Craig on August 31, 2011

1 Cor 13 Love is not jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, self seeking, quick-tempered, unforgiving, wrong. 1 Cor 13:4-7source

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7)

I read the verses and something jumps out at me…
they define what love is…
but there are an awful lot of “love is not” parts.

In Paul’s definition of love…
a definition inspired by God…
and God being love…
there are seven “love is” aspects….
but eight “love is not” ones.

The negative voices we hear in our heads are one thing that love “is not”.

The negative voices are pompous and rude.
They seek their own agenda.
All of them are overtly or subtly full of anger.
They are vindictive, wrong and untrue.
They push in uninvited.
They have less kindness than a spider…
on a web…
trapping the prey…
paralyzing it…

wrapping it…

Negative voices have less kindness than a spider on a web, hunting, trapping the prey, paralyzing it, wrapping it, eating it dead or alive.source

and eating it dead or alive.

And love bears all things.

In the Greek, the word in the verse translated as “bears” has a double meaning. It means to protect – like the lid on Tupperware, or on a jar, or the roof on a house. It implies a keeping out of harmful forces. The negative voices attract all sorts of harm. They. Are. Not. Love.

The other part of the meaning of “to bear” is to endure.
Love keeps going and doesn’t quit.
Love hangs on during a tough time.
Love stands consistent and strong…
and may be suppressed…
but can never be destroyed.

The negative voices are all opposite of love. Instead of facing Goliaths – they make us want to run. Instead of helping us resist temptation they weaken our resistance and draw us into wrong choices.  The negative voices are cowardly, hide in the dark recesses, and can and must be silenced…

negative voices threaten to submerge all that is love.source

… or they threaten to submerge all that is love.

You don’t get much more anti-love than negative voices – unless you enter the area of the demonic. And many, if not all of the negative voices we hear, may very well be of that nature. The lies that they are – they act in so many ways like the father of lies

And if they come from the Evil One or his minions…
they are the definite antithesis of love.
Like all that is evil, they will ultimately be defeated…
but they need to be defeated now to unleash all that is love within us.

Because if they remain…

they steal…


and destroy…

our ability…

to love…

or to receive love…

and they prevent us from approaching…

that image of God…

that we are all meant to be.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora August 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

After writing on my blog about not having “WOW!” moments in my life, I come here and I’m saying a loud, WOW!!!!! This all just opened up for me, Craig. Yesterday, someone brought up the question as to why we “tame” these horses rather than “kill” them. I think you answered that today. At least for me, you did. I know that every time I gave in to one of those negative voices, it was like a cookie cutter came along and took a big chunk out of me, leaving a hole. I would frantically look for something to fill the hole so others wouldn’t see — excuses, hiding, etc., etc. And after a while, I was just full of holes, all of which made me a fake, not doing what I really wanted to do, and not being who God really made me to be.

Also, taming the horses is so much more loving rather than militant, and gives me a whole new way to look at others who are giving in to THEIR voices — in love! I’ve had those people who have tried to help me with their swords, sharp words of correction, etc. These only sent me (and my horses) hiding behind locked doors. I loved your explanation about “bearing all things.” I’ll be chewing on that all day today. Thank you, Craig.


Craig August 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

you know Cora, I hadn’t really thought I had answered A.’s question. I thought I was still answering the question from the comment the other day. But between what you have said, and what I’ve said to A in reply to her comment, and what I’ve been thinking since – I think there’s an upcoming post. I heart that you contribute so much to my thinking – and I heart that you had a “wow” moment! You’ve really done some work on the herd – I’m kind of proud of you ツ and about “bearing all things” I had always wondered why the NIV translated it as “protects” – but my favorite translation the NAB translated it as “bears” – I suspected something like this. Now we both know ツ God bless you Cora


Michelle September 1, 2011 at 6:14 am

You know, in my many years of reading and studying the Bible, I hadn’t really noticed the “love is not” part of that passage. Sure, I knew it was there, but hadn’t really looked at it.



Craig September 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Yup, love “is not” a lot of stuff. And technically – since the Greek word for “protects or bears” shares two meanings – it should really count like half a word – which would make the count, instead of 8-7 ——- 8 1/2 to 6 1/2. ツGod bless you Michelle!


Traveller September 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

ooh…this translation, “it does not brood over injury” is the one that jumps out at me.

my quick thoughts…(because I should be in bed sleeping now)
So, I was thinking maybe your love war is mostly aimed at the negative voices we hear in our head, in our heart about ourselves. Good stuff!

Yet what had me asking that question was partly related to … when I think of I Cor. 13–I’ve mostly thought of it as how we are to love others. More recently thought about that this is definitely a description of God’s love towards us–so YES, this is what we should receive, NOT those negative voices.

But I’ve been fighting my own ‘love war’, and it’s about discovering a need for and lack of love toward another. So, I wasn’t sure if that fit with your posts. But…as I read this one…I realize it does. It really can and does go both ways. I need to fight just as hard, and just as determined about the taming the voices in my head that want to i.e. “brood over injury” received–this is not love…

I’m afraid…I’m not going to make too much sense…but wanted to let you know I read these, and…thank you! I’ll come back and read this one again, and bring my heart before God for next steps, His direction…


Craig September 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm

you know? I can really see your point. First Corinthians 13 is always about others – and not about ourselves. That’s a really, really, really valid point. And dealing with the negative voices does seem to be about ourselves – all about me, me, me, and also me. And in truth. It kind of is. But if were not operating – the negative voices are keeping us from doing love, keeping us from being effective for the kingdom, stealing from us pieces of our identity in HIM, then they do directly relate to love – and love – by loving others. My top three negative voices… Let’s see

1. You not good enough – that has slowed me down and a number of Kingdom ventures – and the answer to the voice was to measure by His standards. That’s love…

2. It’s safer to hide – for me, that one has kept me from connecting with the body of Christ for too many years – kept me from connecting with others – and if you don’t connect with others – you can’t really love. That one seems pretty on target.

And 3. Things are not going to work out – and the final answer was – with the help of my friend Dawn – in the comment section – was that things ARE working out – no matter how they look because of Romans 8:28 – and God’s love – and our ultimate purpose of being conformed to his image.

I guess in short love is not about ourselves, but if we’re broken, and we don’t fix it, we can’t do love right. I really appreciate how you have centered me on this – and reminded me that everything on this blog should always come back to first Corinthians 13. Because first Corinthians 13 is Christianity. I think I’ll keep a watch on.

And now, also because of you – I see a series upcoming – soon, but not too soon on digging deeply into the translation of those verses – really, really, really deeply. I think I’ll heart that!

And I think I understood you well. Thank you very much! God bless and keep you my friend.


A. September 2, 2011 at 12:01 am

I needed this so much tonight, and will be back in the morning to reread. I need repeat doses of this and the wisdom in the comment section. I am grateful. Thank you, all.


Craig September 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm



Caddo Veil January 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Wow, wow wow, wow wow–this is excellent stuff. Those negative voices just about wear me out some days–but I won’t give in, give up, quit! Thanks for the great support!! God bless you.


Craig January 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

Kreg iz still having of sik Caddo – so I am havingz of reeply agen – he wil be enuf betur foor next comentz – he iz having of soreez. Luv laska.

ps kreg sez u mayk him smyl – u hav menee saym voysez like him he thinx


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