Love Does Not Rejoice in Wrongdoing

Among the many lessons on love that we are able to glean from 1 Corinthians 13 is the maxim that genuine, Christian love “does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth” (I Cor 13:6 ESV). Of course, the immediate purpose of this verse (and entire chapter) is to emphasize the priority of love in ministry, fellowship, and the exercise of spiritual gifts. However, these verses also inform us greatly regarding the overall concept of love as it relates to other areas of life. Certainly we can deduce some practical instructions involving the love between a man and woman united in marriage.

The King James Version renders this phrase to say that love “rejoiceth not in inquity, but rejoiceth in truth.” In this verse we are reminded of a dichotomy that exists in our world. Truth stands opposed to iniquity. “Truth” in this verse refers to virtue, piety, and goodness while “iniquity” refers to the wrongdoing, injustice, and evil done to others. Certainly the practical applications of these principles are numerous.

We should never delight in or be comfortable with wrongdoing – whether it be found in others or in us. Such discoveries should bring about sorrow, grief, and mourning. Wicked people may rejoice when others ruin or disgrace themselves. There seems to be a malignant pleasure in the world as it relates to this misfortune.

But such is not the way of the Christian. Love compels us to respond differently. We must stand opposed to unrighteousness - wherever it is found - and joyfully side with that which is good and right. We do not rejoice in the evil we encounter, but neither do we ignore it. Rather, love induces us to seize the opportunity to encourage and foster the triumph of truth and goodness.

Let’s look at some practical applications of these principles that relate to married life...

Christian spouses should never be at ease with wrongdoing or injustice that arises between them as partners in marriage. This is generally wrought by our own hands. We become more concerned with being right, winning arguments, and getting our way than we are with peace, empathy, and concern for one another. We say hateful things and disrespect each other with our actions.

We should never be content or comfortable when such circumstances exist in our marriage. Rather, we should feel shame, sorrow and grief. It should bother us to the point that we cannot rest until these issues are resolved. We should be convicted and moved to restore virtue, peace, and harmony to the relationship.

Furthermore, if we are not careful we can become culpable of finding pleasure when our partner is guilty of some sort of wrongdoing. We see their negative conduct as verification of our preconceptions and we feel vindicated. Or, we view it as something that can be leveraged and manipulated to get what we want. We keep score of each other’s missteps intending to cash in later. We rejoice in their iniquity. In the most egregious of cases, some have even wished for their spouse to fall into a serious reproach so that they can feel justified in walking away from the marriage. God help us!

Let us never forget that true, biblical love rejoices in truth. It finds gladness when virtue, goodness, and righteousness prevail. This should be one of the foremost guiding principles that influence all we say and do in marriage and in life.

Articles in this series...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...