In this second section of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul addresses the nature of love as the motivating factor in pursuit of the higher gifts. The verses before us today (vv. 4, 5a) contain a triad of two things each‚ÄĒthe passive and active side of each characteristic.
The first is positive‚ÄĒ"love is." Love is patient (passive) and kind (active). This is the principle characteristic. The next two are negative‚ÄĒ"love is not." Love is not envious or jealous (passive) or boastful (active) with respect to others who are or have what we do not, but wish we did. On the other hand, Love is not arrogant (passive) or rude (active) toward others when we occupy a position of success and privilege that other do not.