Love is Not Puffed Up

Bible Lesson, Game, and Craft | 1 Corinthians 13:13


Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. . . . Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up . . . Love never fails. . . . the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NKJV)

Discussion Starter
What is love? Is it a feeling? Is it an action? How would you describe, love? (Receive answers.)

Love is difficult to describe. But we know it when we feel it; don't we? Or do we? Is love a feeling? Well, yes, that is part of it. But love requires action too; doesn't it? 

The Bible has a lot to say about love! Why do you think this is so? 

The Scriptures tells us that God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, our Maker, is LOVE; it's God's nature to love! (1 John 4:8)

Let's read the definition of love from the dictionary, (choose an age-appropriate definition such as: a feeling of strong affection for a person; or the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship.)

Now let's see how the Bible describes "love." As I read, take note of the words used to describe what love is, and what love isn't.

Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-13 from the New King James Version (some translations do not use the term, "puffed-up.")

How does the Bible describe "what love is"? (Spend some time explaining the meaning of: patient, kind, rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. )

What does the Scripture say "love is not"? (Spend some time explaining the meaning of: Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, unfairness.)

What do think is the meaning of this phrase: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 

Love is much more than a feeling; love is action, it is a resolve to treat others as we want to be treated. In other words, our "loving words" are just a lot of noise, like clanging cymbals, if our actions don't match what we say.

These verses also show us how God loves us--he is patient with us, his love never ends, he bears with us; he endured the cross for us! For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3:16 GNT).

What does it mean to not be "puffed up"? (Don't be proud, conceited, or arrogant. Rather, we are to treat others with respect. We are made in God's image. Therefore, we are to love others as God loves us! In fact, the Bible says we are to treat others better than ourselves! "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves" Philippians 2:3 NIV.)

Today we're going to play a game to remember what happens when we get "puffed-up," (we lose) and/or we'll make a craft to remember this lesson.

Game: Puffed-Up 
Players race to blow up balloons (preferably heart-shaped). The balloon that is blown the largest without popping wins, because a balloon "puffed-up" too much will pop! Another option is to have players chew bubble gum and see who can blow the largest bubble without it popping! (See also The Bubble Gum Message, a Bible lesson on being puffed up with pride.)

Craft: Puffy Pillow
Use Puff paint to write the phrase, "Love is not puffed up" (1 Co. 13:4), on small pillows, and then have the children decorate them by gluing on various items such as buttons and yarn.

"Dear Jesus, Help us to be patient, forgiving, and kind to the people in our lives. Help us to love others as you have loved us. Amen."

Copyright 2016 Sarah A. Keith

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