Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.
John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.
It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.
Love like Jesus.
Without Rejoicing in Evil
Love is the goal of all of Christian life. Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus. The life and death of Jesus. This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13. Let’s consider
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing
It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.
Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing
To rejoice. To have a deep seated joy in the midst of any circumstance, to have a calmness and serenity that is deep seated in my life. This is a fruit of the Spirit.
But love’s rejoicing is kinda picky.
Love’s rejoicing does not live in evil doing, in the wrong.
The next two posts will consider this “pickiness” of love and give us direction as to the condition of our hearts.
This post will consider what love does not rejoice in, what love cannot rejoice in. Love cannot rejoice in unrighteousness.
Any injustice or wrong doing, from love’s perspective, can not be rejoiced in. In our last post we considered holding onto a wrong, a “kaka”. Paul was referring to a memory of an injustice or a hurtful word, of a wrongdoing suffered by us.
This verse may include a wider audience. This passage may include my injustice. My wrongdoing. My sin. Sure, love cannot rejoice in the injustice perpetrated on a fellow human being. That is not love. That seems so obvious.
It is easy to be furious, even “self righteous” in our condemnation of another’s ill treatment of a brother. It sets us on the “high ground” supposedly, and we feel like we are better than those wretched dogs who are so filthy in God’s eyes.
What is not so obvious for me, in my day to day walk, is the sin that I spread around my friends, family and foes! Let me explain.
True love in a believers life, as we walk in the Spirit, cannot find rejoicing in a sin. If I do not have a solid understanding of what is right and what is wrong, I can find myself rejoicing in unrighteousness. A friendly reminder – the Bible helps bunches on defining this what is right and what is wrong!
I got the upper hand on my peer at work. That is so great. Let’s party! Of course he suffered a wrongdoing, and may not trust me in the future, see’s me as a bit of a cheat, but I landed that promotion and am able to supply for my family. Surely that is what God wants, and I am so full of happiness, it must be the right thing to do! Rejoice in that promotion!
What would love do here? Where can we find true rejoicing in this instance?
My child comes home from school with a note about being in a fight in the school yard. My first question invariably is “Did you win?” After all, he is a chip off the old block. Sorry to hear about the other kid, and the bruising, but life is hard. My son proved himself, and I am so full of happiness, it must be the right thing to do! Rejoice in my boys dominance over another!
What would love do here? Where can we find rejoicing in this instance?
Jesus replacing Love
So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?
Recently I have read of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53, where the Master is referred to as a “Man of sorrows”. Our sins caused this sorrow. And yet the fruit of the Spirit is joy. He was led of the Spirit and under full control of the Spirit of God. The tension in this though is hard to accept sometime, unless you consider when the joy is to be expressed. Jesus, being under the authority of the Father, could not rejoice in wrongdoing. He was a “Man of sorrows”, and yet Luke 10:21tells us
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
In what hour? In the hour when the Father revealed truth to those who were receptive, and also hid it from those who were closed minded to the Messiah. Both of those actions are righteous acts. He rejoiced in righteousness.
I think I am getting ahead of myself, since our next topic will be rejoicing in the Truth. Let’s get together next time and consider the positive aspect of rejoicing! See ya then!
I look forward to comments and discussion. May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.