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Love is not Proud

A young tiger awoke on a bright spring morning feeling particularly fierce. He sauntered through the jungle and, cornering a small monkey demanded, “Who is the mightiest animal in the jungle?”

The trembling monkey quickly replied, “You are my lord; you are!”

Quite pleased, the tiger released the monkey and soon found a deer. He asked again, “Who is the mightiest of all the animals in the jungle?”

Shaking so badly that he could hardly speak, the deer stammered, “You are my lord; you are!”

His pride overflowing, the tiger moved on and happened upon an elephant in a clearing. Again he asked his question, “Who is the mightiest of all the animals in the jungle?”

Without a word, the elephant wrapped his powerful trunk around the tiger and lifted him from the ground. Suddenly, he swung his trunk to the side smashing the tiger’s head into a tree. He then pounded the helpless cat repeatedly on the ground before finally releasing him.

Bruised and dazed, the young tiger huffed, “You don’t have to get all mad about it just because you don’t know the right answer!”

Sometimes we may be tempted to be like that tiger. We wake up feeling good about ourselves, and the more we think about our strengths, the more we want to insure that people know how impressive we are.

And each of us does have some strength. For one, it might actually be physical strength or conditioning. So the svelte marathoner may be tempted to look at us chubby desk jockeys with just a touch of disdain. “If he had self-discipline like mine, he’d lose that spare tire!”

The one with a prestigious education begins to feel that having a Ph.D. makes him more intelligent than the guy with a GED. The wealthy man tends to think that his money makes him more valuable than one on welfare.

Proud Americans look down on immigrants. Middle class whites frown on sagging pants and rap rhythms. In return, angry young black men may assume that all middle class whites are racists. Everybody’s pride gets in the way.

In the middle of it all, God quietly reminds us: Whatever it is that makes us think we are the mightiest creatures in the jungle, without love, it is worth absolutely nothing.

Love “does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). He who loves is the mightiest.


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