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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Love Does Not Rejoice at Wrongdoing

What is love? 

The definition of love is found only once in the Bible: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). 

Let’s continue to give ourselves a biblical “love” test by looking closely at the words and phrases used to describe love.

The tenth biblical descriptor of love is “does not rejoice at wrongdoing.”

Notice it’s wrong doing that is abhorred.  As human beings, we often can’t control the thoughts that enter our minds, or the feelings felt by our hearts.  But what we can control is what we do.  How we handle our thoughts and feelings.

Love that does not rejoice at wrongdoing stops to think before acting, desiring only to proceed in accordance with God’s will.  This love refuses any justification of wrongdoing, no matter the situation (Romans 3:8).

Agape love hates evil – the only biblical circumstance in which love is permitted to hate.  When wrongdoing happens through manipulation, lies, cover-ups, plotting, and secret planning to get one’s own way, agape love hates it all.

Agape love respects and obeys the laws of its government, recognizing civil order is needed and necessary for a healthy society to exist - as long as these laws don’t forbid you to do what God requires, or require you to do what God forbids. 

How are you doing with the tenth part of God’s love test?  

Before you answer, consider this: Do you hate evil?  Do you rationalize wrongdoing or seek obedience to God’s Word at all times?  Do you obey the laws of government?  The laws of God?

I think now you are ready to answer.

“Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing…”

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