Love is not boastful
97. The following word, perpereúetai, denotes vainglory, the need to be haughty, pedantic and somewhat pushy. Those who love not only refrain from speaking too much about themselves, but are focused on others; they do not need to be the centre of attention. The word that comes next - physioútai - is similar, indicating that love is not arrogant. Literally, it means that we do not become "puffed up" before others. It also points to something more subtle: an obsession with showing off and a loss of a sense of reality. Such people think that, because they are more "spiritual" or "wise", they are more important that they really are. Paul uses this verb on other occasions, as when he says that "knowledge puffs us", whereas "love builds up" (1 Cor 8:1) but in fact are filled more with empty words than the real "power" of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 4:19).
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