Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

LOVE Lessons from First Corinthians 13

"Vaunteth Not. . . περπερεύεται"

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 19 February 2009

This post is part of a series addressing the Apostle Paul's words in I Corinthians 13:4-8. The words Paul chose to teach the church at Corinth in 57 A.D. are just as powerful today. And just as necessary.

. . . Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly. . . .
~ I Corinthians 13:4, 5

When Paul wrote I Corinthians
, he alluded to the "super-spiritual" people in Corinth who boasted of their superior spiritual condition while exhibiting very little love in their lives. He said they were like "sounding brass" and "tinkling cymbal."

As noted earlier (see February 10, 2009), these particular phrases in the original Greek language refer to people who talk incessantly. It refers to people who annoy everyone around them with constant self-centered chatter.

In fact, the word translated into "tinkling cymbal," μακροθυμίᾳ - makrothumia (mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah), depicts the clanging of cymbals that announced the onset of a war.

This gives the word-picture and very clear impression that the bragging and non-stop self-centered talk that Paul was referring to made its hearers fighting mad!

Maybe this is why Paul makes a point of characterizing agape love by telling us that it vaunteth not. . . .

Sadly, the word vaunteth has lost its meaning in our vernacular, but in the Greek it is a very, very powerful word! περπερεύεται perpereuomai (per-per-yoo'-om-ahee) means a lot of self-talk!

In other words, it describes a person who endlessly promotes him/herself and exaggerates their own virtues. This person's self-promotion is usually nothing short of exaggeration that borders on flay-out lying. One Greek scholar has said that the word perpereuomai pictures a person who is full of hot air. Another has said this word refers to a windbag!

Even as I write, my thoughts focus on an individual who fits the description and if you know someone who fits the description, you're probably thinking of that person too. It's hard to forget people like this isn't it?

Okay. . . that said, do you know a perpereuomia? Who do you know that blows hot air? Wait. . . are you a perpereuomia? Do you blow hot air?

How does this apply to you and me?

Remember this: Paul was writing to people who thought they were spiritual. They were convinced that they were okay. They were religious and self-righteous. The self-righteous person does not realize they are self-righteous. What a conundrum!

If you were to confront a person who you consider to be a self-important "windbag," how would he/she respond?
Exactly! They'd deny it and call you judgmental.

What if someone were to confront you?

In what ways are we like the people of Corinth? In what ways do we vaunteth ourselves?

Do we vaunt in public worship? Do we vaunt in our dress? Do we vaunt by slighting others because of envy? Do we vaunt by filling conversation with our agenda and our accomplishments? Do we vaunt by overlooking others in need. . .

Agape love is so strong, so sure, and so confident that it does not need to speak of itself or its accomplishment, even if those accomplishments are great.

While I do not wholly agree with Rick Warren's all-inclusive ecumenical approach to Christianity, I do agree with the premise of his Book, The Purpose Driven Life:

"It's not about me."

It's about sharing Christ -- not ourselves -- with a lost world!

Part 1: I Keep Hearing the Word Tolerance . . . And in the same context as Agape Love!
Part 2: Love Lessons from I Corinthians 13 "Suffereth Long. . . μακροθυμίᾳ
Part 3: Love Lessons from I Corinthians 13 "Love is Kind. . . χρηστεύεται"

~ Esthermay


Barbara said...

Beautifully written and very convicting. I agree about Rick Warren's approach, but the phrase "It's not about me" is surely Scriptural. Christ was selfless!
He is our model.
Great post!

Kathy S. said...

Thanks for another insightful post. How do you get greek letters in your post? What kind of resource do you use for study? =D

This post reminded me of a wonderful book by Louis Giglio~i am not but i know I AM~ he's a man you can quote!

Kate said...

Great insight here.
Really makes me evaluate . . .

Laurie Ann said...

Beautiful post, Esthermay. I love the definitions of these words - brings them to life in a whole new way!

Solace said...

Excellent meat from the Word here. I do love the way you've confronted readers by asking how we'd be treated when confronting our own "windbag." The human condition is anything but selfless. We all have a bit of vaunt in us.

Ben said...

Enjoying your series on I Corinthians 13. Merry is printing them out to share with the ladies in her Bible Study.
I'd like to know also how you get your Greek letters to post.

Esthermay said...

Ben & Kathy:

You can download BibleWorks Fontsfree, but you need to type the word(s) you need in another program (like MSWord) and then cut and paste into Blogger. Not all interfaces accept this.
There are several other free Hebrew and Greek font downloads available. Just Google “Free Greek/Hebrew Fonts.”

Besides downloading the font: In MS Word, you can try {Insert}{Symbol}{FONT: NormalText}{SUBSET: Basic Greek}. Again, you have to cut and paste into Blogger.

When all else fails, I Google the English spelling of the Greek word I want -- add the word “Greek” to the query and I usually find what I need – cutting and pasting at this point almost always works.

Good Luck!

Vikki Wright said...

Oooohh! Good word! Especially bringing it back to us...ya know, the whole speck and log thing. So easy to identify other windbags or vaunters, but what about me? Yikes! Better check in with my Father on that one! Thanks!

Denise said...

This is so lovely my friend, bless you.

Michele Williams said...

Another beautiful and thought provoking post. Thank you...God bless you dear friend.

Lily said...

You have won an award! ;) Check out my blog for details.

BTW-- this blog post was what I needed to hear today!

Marsha said...

Truly beautiful. Full of depth of knowledge and overflowing with love.
Thank you, Esthermay.

Susan said...

Oh my, oh me!!

This was excellent! Really enjoying this series.

What a blessing you are Esthermay!

I appreciate your gifts♥

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