- 1 Corinthians 13:1 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:2 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:3 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:4 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:5 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:6 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:7 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:8 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:9 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:10 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:11 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:12 Commentary
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 Commentary
1 Corinthians 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: ouk aschemonei, (3SPAI) ou zetei (3SPAI) ta eautes, ou paroxunetai (3SPPI) , ou logizetai (3SPMI) to kakon,
Amplified: It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil
NLT: or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: does not act unbecomingly, does not seek after the things which are its own, is not irritated, provoked, exasperated, aroused to anger, does not take into account the evil [which it suffers]
Young's Literal: doth not act unseemly, doth not seek its own things, is not provoked, doth not impute evil
DOES NOT ACT UNBECOMINGLY: ouk aschemonei, (3SPAI):
- 1Cor 7:36; 11:13, 14, 15, 16,18,21,22; 14:33-40; Isaiah 3:5; Philippians 4:8; 2Thess 3:7
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Keep Paul's flow of thought in mind…
Selfless love never rude, does not offend but always has good manners and tactfully shows courtesy, politeness and sensitivity to other's feelings.
it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury (NAB)
She does not behave unbecomingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. (Weymouth)
It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. (GWT)
Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil (BBE)
Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. (The Message)
it does not behave with ill-mannered impropriety (Thiselton)
Love does not act in ways which are “contrary to the requirements of propriety and good order, committed by some ill-mannered members” (Héring)
Unbecoming in English describes behavior which is unseemly, unsuitable, inappropriate or unflattering or not attractive (certainly not attractive in a person who claims to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mk 1:1) which is the very essence of divine love (cf Jn 3:16, Ro 5:8)! And remember both believers and unbelievers are watching you responses...all the time!)
Not (3756) (ou/ouk) is the strongest Greek particle for negation, signifying direct and full negation, independently and absolutely, and hence, objectively.
Act unbecomingly ("unseemly" KJV) (807) (aschemoneo from aschemon = uncomely, indecent from a = without + schema = outward shape, external form) is literally contrary to schema or form, fashion, or manner of what is proper. The idea is to behave in an ugly, indecent, unseemly or unbecoming manner. To be ill-mannered or rude. Love does none of these things. Of course, our flesh is the antithesis of unbecoming behavior, so it is clear that we cannot rely on our natural "power" to act unbecomingly. The only way is to jettison our self reliance and rely wholly on the Holy Spirit who will give us the heart desire to not act in this manner and will also empower us supernaturally to carry through. See the "Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" (100/100) and the related topic regarding our continual Need for the Holy Spirit to obey NT commands, realizing that this is not a command per se, but it is an instruction in the present tense which calls for this to be a lifestyle or our habitual behavior, which is "impossible" and only "Him-possible!").
Aschemoneo speaks of an act in defiance of social and moral standards, with resulting disgrace, embarrassment, and shame. It describes one who acts improperly or with rudeness. It means to behave unmannerly, disgracefully or dishonorably.
Love is tactful, and does nothing that would raise a blush. R C H Lenski reasons that "When pride puffs up the heart, unseemly bearing and conduct naturally follow. Tactlessness forgets its own place and fails to accord to others their proper dues of respect, honor, or consideration. Love is forgetful of self and thoughtful toward others. (The interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second epistle to the Corinthians. Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg Publishing House)
G. G. Findlay alluding to aschemoneo writes that "Love imparts a delicacy of feeling beyond the rules of politeness
The only other NT use of aschemoneo is found in…
1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she should be of full age, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. (Comment: Here aschemoneo means to defy moral standards act disgracefully, behave improperly)
Paul uses the opposite word (euschemon = "appropriate") in 1Cor 7:35 which speaks of that which has an attractive form and is comely or befitting of proper behavior. And it is worth noting that such decent behavior does not stop with words and attitude but also pertains to one’s apparel and appearance. True love strives to conduct itself in conduct in harmony with the established norms of decency in every aspect of life.
Paul is saying that true Christian love never behaves in an ugly, indecent, unseemly or unbecoming manner. And remember that although we have the idea that these passages are standard fare in the marriage ceremony (where they certainly are applicable), the truth is that the Corinthian church was manifesting rudeness Rudeness found in the problem of women in worship (1Cor 11:2-16), in regard to the disorders surrounding the Lord’s Supper (1Cor 11:17-22), and in regard to the general organization of worship (1Cor 14:26-33).
The principle has to do with poor manners and thus with acting rudely. It describes the person who does not care enough for those it is around to act becomingly or politely. It cares nothing for their feelings or sensitivities. This loveless person is careless, overbearing, and often crude. The Corinthian church was a model of unbecoming behavior and acting unseemly was almost their "trademark". Nearly everything the Corinthian church did was rude and unloving, even their celebration of the Lord's Supper…
for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. (1Cor 11:21)
During worship services each one of the Corinthians tried to outdo the other in speaking in tongues. Everyone talked at once and tried to be the most dramatic and prominent. The church did everything improperly and in disorder.
Thiselton does not hold back commenting that…
Love does not elbow its way into conversations, worship services, or public institutions in a disruptive, discourteous, attention-seeking way… The background here may allude to the intrusion of tongues or prophecies at inappropriate moments (cf. 1Cor 14). But today it may also include any kind of monopolizing of a congregation’s time and attention in the service of the self: in the tone, style, and vocabulary adopted in notices or sermons, or, worst of all, the minister as over familiar chat-show host or “prophet” of ill-mannered rebuke. (1 Corinthians - NIGTC)
Steven Cole relates a tragic illustration -
I read of a man who was generally lacking in manners. He never opened the car door for his wife. “She doesn’t have two broken arms,” he would say. After many years of marriage, his wife died. At the funeral, as the pallbearers brought her casket out to the hearse, the husband was standing by the car door. The funeral director, who knew the husband by name, called out to him and said, “Open the door for her, will you?” He reached for the car door and then, for one second, froze. He realized that he had never opened the door for her in life; now, in her death, it would be the first, last, and only time. A lifetime of regret came crashing down around him. Love is not rude. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Zodhiates - The Greek word schema means "shape or plan," as reflected in our English words "scheme, schematic." It refers not to the substance of a thing or person but to its outward appearance, the shape it takes before others. Paul is concerned not only with the Christian's character but also with the way he expresses this character outwardly. Some Christians think it makes no difference whether they speak bluntly or tactfully, as long as they speak the truth. Paul says the manner of our speech and actions does make a difference. "Seemliness suggests the ideas of tact and delicacy, judgment and propriety… It relates to shape rather than substance. It is the pattern and not the fabric" (Ainsworth, The Silences of Jesus and St. Paul's Hymn to Love, 157, 158). When we buy clothing, we are concerned not only with getting the best quality of cloth but the most becoming suit or dress. We are interested in how our clothes make us look. God is interested not only in our possessing the divine fabric of love but also in the attractiveness of the pattern love takes in our lives—not only in our being right but in our doing rightly. Much Christian behavior is shapeless, even ugly. But those who come before the Lord must have not only a pure heart but clean hands. Their behavior is to be as graceful and unoffending as their principles are true. Some people even boast about their bluntness, as though it were a virtue to "slap people in the face" with the truth. Their friends defend them by saying, "They mean well." That is not enough, Paul tells us. We must not only mean well but appear well. We must grace the gospel of love that we are so zealous to propagate. No man has a right to be blunt in his speech and shapeless and ugly in his behavior, no matter how right his beliefs may be. When unseemly behavior arises from envy, when pride makes us self-assertive, when our lust for praise leads us to trample on others that we may display ourselves, we are behaving "unseemly." The person in the church of Corinth who caused public disturbance by speaking in an unknown tongue without any useful purpose is a good example of what Paul is warning about here. Seemliness "is, if you like, the etiquette of the Christian life" (Ibid.,158). The social world has its heroes and role models. We Christians have Christ speaking through the apostle Paul to guide us to life's higher goals. So often we do good badly. We blunder and stumble along in the right direction. We practice one virtue at the expense of another. Our honesty flouts our charity. Our candor outstrips our sympathy. Our earnestness threatens our patience… Unseemliness is often the result of balance in our inner life. We need something to co-ordinate for us all the forms of good and all the forces of right. And only love is equal to that task… love confers upon [the Christian] powers of insight and feeling… that teach him to utter the truth wisely and to do good in the best way. Thus love and seemliness are inseparable.
Love has no unloveliness. And since there are so many unlovely things in the fashion of our daily service, we can but judge that we know not love yet as we should know it, that we love not yet as we ought to love… But for each of us each hour there is but one best way; and it is because, whilst holding to the principle, we so often miss the best way of obeying it, that our lives are often ungracious and even ineffective… There is so much awkward piety, so much blundering goodwill, so much unattractive sanctity, so much unlovely religion (Ibid.,161-64). Love has an instinctive power of self-adjustment to every situation. But remember that it is the highest and holiest adjustment. There is a false seemliness that is secured by a tactful but immoral acceptance of things as we find them. It is not of this that Paul speaks. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" may make your lot easier in Rome, but the wrong application of the principle behind it is a cloak for half the sin of the world. The world says that the thing that is outwardly seemly is the thing that is always right. This is the reverse of what Paul says. He tells us that the right must find a way of being seemly without sacrificing its essential rightness.
John Wesley once had for a traveling companion an officer who was intelligent and agreeable in conversation; but there was one serious drawback—his profanity. When they changed vehicles, Wesley took the officer aside and, after expressing the pleasure he had enjoyed in his company, said he had a great favor to ask him. The young officer replied, "I will take great pleasure in obliging you, for I am sure you will not make an unreasonable request." "Then," said Wesley, "as we have to travel together some distance, I beg that, if I should so far forget myself as to swear, you will kindly reprove me." The officer immediately saw the motive and felt the force of the request and smiling said. "None but Mr. Wesley could have conceived a reproof in such a manner." It worked like a charm.
Love does not say that the end justifies the means, but since the end is love the means should also be lovely and loving. It does not do to separate between the fashion of life and the spirit of it, or to say of a man who continually offends others that he means well. Love does not blunder in its treatment of others. Love is not tactless. Love says the proper thing at the proper time, in the loving way. Some Christians mean well, but they fail to put themselves in the other person's place. As a consequence, they affect people like a red-hot iron. When you are in their company, you tremble; you never know what they will say next. Have you done anything indiscreet? Then be certain that they will find and publish it. No doubt they mean well. If they are our friends, we apologize for them and say, "It's just their way." But if that is all we can say for a man, then it is not much. To a person who says, "I always pride myself on saying just what I think," we might recount the story of the man who said to his pastor, "My talent is to speak my mind." Replied the preacher, "That is a good talent to bury." (An Exegetical Commentary on First Corinthians)
Bible.org Admin - 1 Corinthians 13
1. God’s Love Is Incarnational - God entered into our world and demonstrated love in a way we could visualize - understand. We must go where young people are and where they live out their lives. This in itself will demonstrate to our young people our love for them.
2. God’s Love Is Patient - We must not make impatient demands but allow young people to grow at their own pace.
3. God’s Love Is Kind - We must be gentle and sensitive to the needs and hurts of young people. We must allow them to be teenagers and not demand that they be something else.
4. God’s Love Is Not Jealous - Our supreme concern must be for our young people’s growth and not that they just attend our youth program or our activities.
5. God’s Love Does Not Brag and Is Not Arrogant - We must not spend our energies building up ourselves, but remember that servanthood is making the other person successful.
6. God’s Love Does Not Act Unbecomingly - We are not to try to act like teenagers. Teens do not want leaders who act like them, but leaders who act like leaders.
7. God’s Love Does Not Seek Its Own - Our desire must be to put others first. If we cannot do this then we cannot expect our young people to do it either.
8. God’s Love Is Not Provoked - At times this becomes a great difficulty, but we must learn as the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2. He stated that in every disappointment he learned to use that situation to reaffirm love for the person who disappoints him.
9. God’s Love Does Not Take Into Account a Wrong Suffered - Jesus suffered much wrong and rejection and we, too, must be willing to experience that same suffering.
10. God’s Love Rejoices With the Truth - Our young people will easily see our values by what we get most excited about.
11. God’s Love Bears and Believes All Things - We must expect the best and see people as God sees people - for the potential they can become with Christ’s help.
12. God’s Love Hopes All Things - We need to memorize Philippians 4:8 and recite it daily to ourselves.
13. God’s Love Endures All Things - Many heartaches will come our way, and the desire to give up and quit will often pass through our minds. But God’s love for us endures even our shortcomings. How can we do any less' (1 Corinthians 13 - Bible.org)
IT DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN: ou zetei (3SPAI) ta heautes:
- 1Cor 10:24,33; 12:25; Romans 14:12, 13, 15; 15:1,2; Galatians 5:13; 6:1,2; Philippians 2:3, 4, 5,21; 2Timothy 2:10; 1John 3:16,17
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
(love) does not insist on its own way (NRSV),
(love) never seeks its own advantage (NJB)
it does not take offence or store up grievances (NJB)
It does not insist on its own way (ESV)
Selfless love is not selfish and never demands its "rights".
(love) is never selfish (Moffatt)
(love never) seeks its own advantage
(love) is not preoccupied with the interests of the self (Thiselton)
Not (3756) (ou) is the strongest Greek particle for negation, signifying direct and full negation, independently and absolutely, and hence, objectively.
Seek (2212) (zeteo) means to try to learn the location of something often by movement from place to place in process of searching. It is an attempt to learn something by careful investigation or searching. Paul uses zeteo seven times in this letter - 1 Cor 1:22; 4:2; 7:27; 10:24, 33; 13:5; 1Cor 14:12.
Seek its own means that the loveless person desires to have his or her own way (self, self, self, etc); in other words selfish "love" (oxymoron) says "It's my way or the highway!" Selfishness seeks the things that belong to oneself, one’s own pleasure, profit, honor, etc, whereas genuine agape love is always (emphasize always) unselfish. Beloved, if you are not convicted, you can be assure this writer certainly is, for it is easy to talk about this quality of agape love, but oh so difficult to live it out (which of course reminds us again that "we can't produce" such beautiful fruit without the motivation and power of the indwelling Spirit, to whom we need to constantly surrender our "rights").
Lenski rightly notes that "Selfishness lies at the root of a thousand evils and sins in the world and in the church: between rich and poor, capital and labor, nation and nation, man and man, church member and church member. Cure selfishness, and you plant a Garden of Eden. As when one draws a beautiful face and makes one feature after another stand out until the eyes at last light up the whole and give it complete expression, so in this portrait of love the inspired artist paints the eyes full of unselfishness, seeking in every glance not their own but that which is another’s. Yes, this is love: no envy, no boasting, no pride, no unseemliness because it is altogether unselfish. Not for self (negative) = for others (positive). (Ibid)
Such selfish behavior is the polar opposite of sacrificial love. And the church at Corinth was rife with this sin for they were selfish in the extreme not sharing their food at love feasts, protecting their "rights" (a slave of Christ has no "rights"!) even suing fellow believers in a non-Christian setting and using their spiritual gifts not to benefit others but their own advantage. They did not use their gifts to edify or build up the church but to try to build themselves up and thus Paul was forced to exhort them…
Since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification (building up) of the church (1Corinthians 14:12)
It is sad that this church as in such a dismal state for Paul had himself shown the Corinthians the example of selfless love as he served them as their "pastor" for a year and a half! Good, godly examples don't necessarily guarantee good, godly imitators!
Alan Redpath strikes a painful chord to most of us who have been married for any length of time writing that "The secret of every discord in Christian homes, communities and churches is that we seek our own way and our own glory. (Woe! Too close to home!)
Thiselton adds that…
Agape spells judgment on the life that centres round the ego and its interests [my italics]… For when God’s Agape is shed abroad in a man’s heart through the Holy Spirit (Ro 5:5-note) his life thereby gains a new centre. The emphasis is transferred from his own ego to Christ.”…
The coupling of behaving with ill-mannered impropriety and not pre-occupied with the interests of the self alludes to such conduct at Corinth as (i) insisting on one’s way about idol food (1Cor 10:24, 33); (ii) rushing ahead with the Lord’s Supper in a “better” room (the triclinium) while the latecomers are squeezed into the atrium (1Cor 11:21-22); (iii) interrupting speakers with supposed “instant revelations” during worship, or alternatively carrying on at an inordinate length when someone else has an important contribution to make (1Cor 14:29-33); and imposing unintelligible tongues into a sequence of worship when the utterance cannot be communicated but remains a purely individual welling up of pre-cognitive expression (1Cor 14:27-28). (1 Corinthians - NIGTC)
Lenski spoke to the foundation nature of this sin of self seeking when he wrote "Cure selfishness and you have just replanted the garden of Eden.
Paul addressed this same issue in his letter to Philippi…
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (see notes Philippians 2:3; 2:4; 2:5)
Jesus is thus our example of not seeking our own, Matthew recording Jesus' declaration that…
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mt 20:28)
Elisabeth Elliot was once speaking on the subject of selfless love to an audience that included some young children who were sitting right in front of her. As she spoke, she wondered how she could make this plain to them, so that they could apply it. Later, she got a letter from one of those children, a six-year-old boy, who wrote, “I am learning to lay down my life for my little sister. She has to take a nap in the afternoon. I don’t have to take a nap. But she can’t go to sleep unless I come and lay down beside her. So I lay down with my little sister.” That boy is learning to love! If husbands and wives, as well as children, would apply this verse as that little boy did, our homes would be free of conflict.
Vance Havner - The word "seeketh" is the Greek word zeteo, which means to seek. However, it was also used to depict a person who is so upset about not getting what he wanted that he turns to the court system to sue or to demand what he is striving to obtain. Instead of taking no for an answer, this person is so intent on getting his own way that he will search, seek, and investigate, never giving up in his pursuit to get what he wants. In fact, he's so bent on getting his way that he'll twist the facts; look for loopholes; put words in other people's mouths; try to hold others accountable for promises they never made; leap on administrative mistakes as opportunities to twist someone's arm; or seek various other methods to turn situations to his benefit. This is manipulation! There is no doubt that Paul had the image of a manipulating, scheming person in his mind when he wrote this verse. Have you ever met such a person? Have you ever encountered a man or woman who schemed and manipulated all the time to get what he or she wanted?
IS NOT PROVOKED: ou paroxunetai (3SPPI):
- Numbers 12:3; 16:15; 20:10, 11, 12; Psalms 106:32,33; Proverbs 14:17; Matthew 5:22; Mark 3:5; James 1:19
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Love is not roused to a spirit of anger or bitterness by injuries, actual or imagined. (Vine)
Love is not irritable (NLT)
Not (3756) (ou) is the strongest Greek particle for negation, signifying direct and full negation, independently and absolutely, and hence, objectively. The KJV misses the idea here with the translation "not easily provoked". There is no basis in the Greek for the modifier easily. It has been suggested that it was added because King James had such a violent temper! Paul says it is never provoked or exasperated, even if you are the king!
Vincent comments that "Easily is superfluous, and gives a wrong coloring to the statement, which is absolute."
Provoked (3947) (paroxuno from pará = at point of, implying movement toward a certain point + oxúno = sharpen, incite, irritate) means to sharpen (this literal meaning is found in Lxx of Dt 32:41).
This Greek verb gives us our English word paroxysm which is defined as a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms (as of a disease), a convulsion (like paroxysm of coughing) or a sudden violent emotion or action, and so an outburst (a paroxysm of rage). Moses lost control and had a "paroxysm" which cost him dearly (Study Nu 20:10, 11, 12, cp Mt 5:22-note).
Proverbs warns us that…
A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated. (Proverbs 14:17)
Figuratively paroxuno came to mean to spur on, to cause to be upset, to stimulate and as used in this verse to arouse or stir someone to anger. To be incensed which is frequently the meaning in the 45 uses in the LXX. usually reflecting God's reaction to sin of His people Israel. Clearly God's provocation is righteous anger, but in the present verse Paul is referring to sinful anger that is never provoked in one who is living out selfless, supernatural love. They are willing to endure slights and insults even as did the One Who is the essence of these attributes of agape love. And it is His life in us as the Spirit of Christ that enables us to manifest this love, which is not possible in our own strength.
Paul gave an exhortation in Romans 12 which is the corollary of non-provocation…
Bless (present imperative = charge for bestowing blessings to be the believer's lifestyle! How are you doing, beloved? Have you blessed anyone today?… this week?) those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Ro 12:14-note).
Never take your own revenge (Love does not seek to give out a proverbial "eye for an eye" response, a tit for a tat!), beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (Ro 12:19-note) and
Thiselton notes that…
The heart of the word (paroxuno) conveys the semantic force of to exasperate, to irritate, as metaphorical extensions of to make sharp, to make pointed, to make acid… Virtually every lexicon and primary source indicates the notion of reaching a level of exasperation. But how does this express itself? The English pique combines the same range of nuances as the Greek: something between irritation and anger which takes offense because one’s self-regard has been dented, wounded, or punctured by some sharp point. Love, Paul urges, does not become exasperated into pique (a transient feeling of wounded vanity), partly because patience delays exasperation and partly because lack of self-interest diverts a sense of self-importance away from reacting on the grounds of wounded pride: “it is not embittered by injuries, whether real or supposed.” (1 Corinthians - NIGTC)
As noted above the derived English word paroxysm describes a convulsion or sudden outburst of emotion or action. Love guards against being sharply irritated (and irritable), upset, or angered by things said or done against it. Note the relation of this trait to the former (a spirit of selfishness) for the one who is intent on having his or her own way is generally the same one who is easily provoked or angered.
The only other NT use of paroxuno is a "positive" usage in Acts 17 where Luke records that…
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked (imperfect tense = over and over, again and again) within him as he was beholding the city full of idols. (See notes Acts 17:16)
On the other hand there are 45 uses of paroxuno in the Septuagint (LXX)
Nu 14:11, 23; 15:30; 16:30; 20:24; Deut. 1:34; 9:7f, 18f, 22; 31:20; 32:16, 19, 41; 2 Sam. 12:14; Ezra 9:14; Ps. 10:3, 13; 74:10, 18; 78:41; 106:29; 107:11; Prov. 6:3; 14:31; 17:5; 20:2; 27:17; Isa. 5:24-25; 14:16; 23:11; 37:23; 47:6; 60:14; 63:10; 65:3; Jer. 22:15; 50:34; Lam. 2:6; Dan. 11:10; Hos. 8:5; Zech. 10:3; Mal. 2:17)
Here are some representative uses…
Deuteronomy 9:7 "Remember, do not forget how you provoked (paroxuno) the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.
Deuteronomy 9:18 "And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke (paroxuno) Him to anger.
Deuteronomy 9:22 "Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked (paroxuno) the LORD to wrath.
Psalm 106:29 Thus they provoked (paroxuno) Him to anger with their deeds; And the plague broke out among them.
Isaiah 65:3 A people who continually provoke (paroxuno) Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks
As one reads this letter is clear that the church at Corinth had to deal with numerous situations which could easily provoke and in fact did produce provocation -- factions, immorality, lawsuits, friction in or disputes about marriage, and eating food offered to an idol. The result was that disagreements were common and disrupted relationships.
J B Phillips paraphrases it well writing that love "is not touchy" which conveys the readiness to overreact on one’s own behalf.
Robertson and Plummer render it…
Not merely 'does not fly into a rage' but 'does not yield to provocation'; it is not embittered by injuries, whether real or supposed.
Henry Drummond in "The Greatest Thing in the World" wrote the following about this negative trait noting that…
the peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect, and women who would be entirely perfect, but for an easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or "touchy" disposition.
I know that some people excuse their bad temper by saying, "Sure, I lose my temper a lot, but it's all over in a few minutes." So is a nuclear bomb. A great deal of damage can be done in a very short time. Even small temper "bombs" can leave behind a lot of hurt, especially when they explode on a regular basis. Your temper is a sign of what is in your heart. A bad temper is a symptom of a terrible disease within the soul. It is an escaping bubble that reveals a fetid pit within.
The perfect example of this "negative attribute" of love is our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter writes…
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (See notes 1 Peter 2:21; 2:22; 2:23)
Cole writes that selfless love…
does not have a hair-trigger temper. Some people make everyone around them walk on eggshells. They’re easily offended. One little thing that doesn’t go their way and “KABOOM!” They use their temper to intimidate and to punish. When you confront them, they say, “Sure, I have a bad temper. But I get it all out and it’s over in a few minutes.” So is a bomb. But look at the devastation it leaves behind! When you’re angry, usually you’re not loving. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 PDF)
Walvoord writes that this trait was manifest in the church at Corinth for
People who are not easily angered usually do not start lawsuits (cf 1Cor 6:1-11). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor)
John MacArthur has some pithy thoughts regarding the individual who is easily provoked writing…
The great colonial preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards had a daughter with an uncontrollable temper. When a young man fell in love with her and asked her father for her hand in marriage, Dr. Edwards replied, “You can’t have her.” “But I love her and she loves me,” he protested. “It doesn’t matter,” the father insisted. Asked why, he said, “Because she is not worthy of you.” “But she is a Christian isn’t she?” “Yes,” said Edwards, “but the grace of God can live with some people with whom no one else could ever live.”
Surely the number one reason both for mental and physical illness in our society today is the overwhelming preoccupation with our rights and the consequent lovelessness. When everyone is fighting for his own rights, no one can really succeed or be happy. Everyone grabs, no one gives, and everyone loses—even when one gets what he wants. Lovelessness can never win in any meaningful or lasting way. It always costs more than it gains.
We get angry when another person gains a privilege or recognition we want for ourselves, because it is our “right.” But to put our rights before our duty and before loving concern for others comes from self–centeredness and lovelessness. The loving person is more concerned about doing what he should and helping where he can than in having what he thinks are his rights and his due. Love considers nothing its right and everything its obligation.
Telling our wives or husbands that we love them is not convincing if we continually get upset and angry at what they say and do. Telling our children that we love them is not convincing if we often yell at them for doing things that irritate us and interfere with our own plans. It does no good to protest, “I lose my temper a lot, but it’s all over in a few minutes.” So is a nuclear bomb. A great deal of damage can be done in a very short time. Temper is always destructive, and even small temper “bombs” can leave much hurt and damage, especially when they explode on a regular basis. Lovelessness is the cause of temper, and love is the only cure.
Love that takes a person outside of himself and centers his attention on the well–being of others is the only cure for self–centeredness. (MacArthur, J: 1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press)
DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A WRONG SUFFERED : ou logizetai (3SPMI) to kakon:
- 2Sa 10:3; Job 21:27; Jer 11:19; 18:18, 19, 20; 40:13, 14, 15, 16; Mt 9:4; Lk 7:39
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
it does not brood over injury (NAB)
(it does not) store up grievances (NJB)
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. (New Century Version)
Not (3756) (ou) is the strongest Greek particle for negation, signifying direct and full negation, independently and absolutely, and hence, objectively.
Stop "keeping score" is the idea and those of us who are guilty of this sin know exactly what this entails! We may not write it on a notepad, but we keep a mental checklist that's just as effective and perhaps even more destructive!
Take into account (3049) (logizomai from logos = reason) means to think about something in a detailed and logical manner. The idea is to put together with one’s mind or to occupy oneself with reckonings (in this case of wrongs done to oneself). Love never takes (or keeps) an inventory or an accounting of the wrongs done. Logizomai gives a verbal portrait of a bookkeeper who flips the pages of his ledger to reveal what has been received and spent. He is able to give an exact account and provide an itemized list. That is good practice in accounting but not in interpersonal relationships! To do so does not reflect Spirit filled love.
THOUGHT - Beloved believer, are you keeping a mental list of those who have wronged you? Be careful as unforgiveness breeds bitterness and ultimately the Spirit is grieved and you will be unable to partake of the truth that the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10, Gal 5:22, Ro 15:13).
Here is an example of a secular use of logizomai…
put down to one’s account, let my revenues be placed on deposit at the storehouse; I now give orders generally with regard to all payments actually made or credited to the government.
Logizomai is a picturesque verb to use in this context for in secular Greek it was a bookkeeping term. It described making an entry in the account book, calculating or reckoning, as when figuring an entry in a ledger. The purpose of the entry is to make a permanent record that can be consulted whenever needed. In business that practice is necessary, but in personal matters it is not only unnecessary but harmful. Keeping track of things done against us is a sure way to unhappiness—our own and that of those on whom we keep records. How is your "ledger" in regard to wrongs you have suffered? (see Eph 4:32 if you need some motivation to forgive!)
Wrong (suffered) (2556) (kakos) means evil, bad, destructive, damaging, unjust. Kakos basically denotes a lack of something so that something is not as it ought to be. Morally, kakos describes a person characterized by godlessness. It pictures the moral conduct, attitudes and plans of godless men. Kakos describes circumstances and conditions that come upon a person and are harmful, evil or injurious.
Paul is saying that love never records a wrong or injury to the account of the one who inflicts it, so that he can later look back at the record so as to pay it back. The implication is that love always forgives. It does not just "forgive and forget" but even more supernatural it "remembers and forgives"!
Robertson and Plummer add that "When there is no question that it has received an injury, Love ‘doth not register the evil’; it stores up no resentment, and bears no malice. (Robertson, A., & Plummer, A. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. 1911)
Barclay makes a good point observing that "tne of the great arts in life is to learn what to forget." (Daily Study Bible Series)
Walvoord adds that…
Love does not record wrongs, though there was ample opportunity for doing so in Corinth (e.g., 1Cor 6:8; 7:5; 8:11).(Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor)
Ray Pritchard wrote that…
Warren Wiersbe said he once knew a man who actually kept a written list of the rotten things people had done to him. He also said that man was one of the most miserable people he had ever known. Many people keep mental lists of the slights they have suffered. They never get over what happened in the past. They dwell on it, they live in it, they ferment in it, and as a result, they let the past shape their present and their future. But true love has a bad memory of wrongs done to it. Love is quick to hit the Delete key. Love is always ready to say, "I'm putting that in the past and I'm not going to bring it up again." (Why Love Has a Bad Memory)
- List of links related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Multiple illustrations and quotes related to forgiveness/unforgiveness
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Ephesians 4:32
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Colossians 3:13
- Exposition of "Forgiveness" in Matthew 6:12 and Matthew 6:14-15
Be careful if you say you love others and yet find yourself feeling resentment, keeping score and waiting for just the moment to "get even".
Lenski - Love keeps no account book for the entry of wrongs on the debit side which are eventually to be balanced on the credit side with payments received when satisfaction is obtained for these wrongs. Love forgets to charge any wrong done to itself. It is neither enraged at the moment, nor does it hold a grudge in vindictiveness afterward. Chrysostom has well said: “As a spark falls into the sea and does not harm the sea, so harm may be done to a loving soul and is soon quenched without disturbing the soul.” We ought to note that "ou logizomai" is the very verb used to describe the pardoning act of God: he does not impute to us our guilt, Ps 32:2-note; Ro. 4:8-note; 2Co 5:19; but imputes to us righteousness for Christ’s sake, Ro 4:6-11-note; Ro 4:22, 23, 24, 25-note; Jas 2:23-note. (Ibid)
Godet - Love, instead of entering evil as a debt in its account-book, voluntarily passes the sponge over what it endures
Cole relates the following story - One married man said to his friend, “You know, every time my wife and I get into a conflict, she gets historical.” His friend said, “Historical? Don’t you mean hysterical?” “No, I mean historical. She rehearses everything I’ve ever done wrong in the whole history of our marriage.” That’s keeping score! That’s not love. (Sermon on 1Corinthians 13:4-7)
1 Corinthians 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth (NASB: Lockman)(NASB: Lockman)
Greek: ou chairei (3SPAI) epi te adikia, sugchairei (3SPAI) de te aletheia;
Amplified: It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth
NIV: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: (does not) gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: does not rejoice at the iniquity but rejoices with the truth
Young's Literal: rejoiceth not over the unrighteousness, and rejoiceth with the truth
DOES NOT REJOICE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS: ou chairei (3SPAI) epi te adikia:
- 1 Samuel 23:19, 20, 21; 2Samuel 4:10, 11, 12; Psalms 10:3; 119:136; Proverbs 14:9; Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17; Jeremiah 20:10; Hosea 4:8; 7:3; Micah 7:8; Luke 19:41,42; 22:5; Romans 1:32; Philippians 3:18
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles (Pr 24:17)
Although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Ro 1:32-note)
Below are some of the other translations of this passage…
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. (NJB)
It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth (NET)
She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joyfully sides with the truth. (Weymouth)
It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. (GWT)
It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true (BBE)
Love is never glad when others go wrong. (Moffatt)
Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. (The Message)
Love does not find joy over the wrongdoing of others (Vine)
Rejoice (5463) (chairo) be "cheer" full, calmly happy be glad.
Selfless love does not take delight in that which is offensive to God. It does not rejoice when trouble or problems befall another even when they are the result of the person's own foolishness or iniquity.
Unrighteousness (93) (adikia from a = negates + dike = right) is literally the condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of His holiness and righteousness, or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience.
Adikia - 25x in 24v - NAS = doing wrong(1), evildoers(1), iniquities(1), iniquity(2), injustice(1), unrighteous(2), unrighteousness(12), wickedness(4), wrong(1).
Luke 13:27; 16:8f; 18:6; John 7:18; Acts 1:18; 8:23; Ro 1:18, 29; 2:8; 3:5; 6:13; 9:14; 1 Cor 13:6; 2Co 12:13; 2Th 2:10, 12; 2Ti 2:19; Heb 8:12; Jas 3:6; 2Pe 2:13, 15; 1 John 1:9; 5:17.
In general adikia speaks of a disregard for that which is right (especially right before God's eyes) and thus is a disregard for God's laws and the obedience due Him, this disregard and disobedience (wrong-doing) being referred to as unrighteousness. Adikia is an act that violates standards of right conduct and thus is reflected in wrongdoing. Adikia can also refer to the quality of injustice. In 1John 5:17 it is defined as "sin". The root word dike is the basis of ethical conduct which in turn rests on the nature of God and our attitude toward Him, otherwise we must resort to the law of the jungle or to the philosophy of godless men like Nietzsche who claimed that "might makes right".
To rejoice in unrighteousness is to justify it and make wrong appear to be right even as Israel turned God's righteousness upside down in Isaiah's day…
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
Paul writes of this same malevolent spirit in the NT…
And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2Thes 2:11-12)
Lenski - Anything that is wrong in God’s sight grieves a heart that is full of love, not merely because the wrong hurts the one to whom it is done, but especially because God is displeased with the wrong and must punish the wrongdoer. Instead of rejoicing over the wrong (negative) love grieves over the wrong (positive). (Ibid)
MacDonald has a convicting comment noting that "There is a certain mean streak in human nature which takes pleasure in what is unrighteous, especially if an unrighteous act seems to benefit one’s self. This is not the spirit of love. Love rejoices with every triumph of the truth. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Pulpit commentary notes that "The rejoicing at sin, the taking pleasure in them that commit sin, the exultation over the fall of others into sin, are among the worst forms of malignity (Rom. 1:32; 2 Thess. 2:12). The Greeks had a word, epichairo (to rejoice over, exult over, mostly of malignant joy) kakia ["evil"], to describe “rejoicing at the evil” (whether sin or misfortune) of others (Pr 24:17); Schadenfreude, “malignant joy” (Arist., ‘Eth.,’ ii. 7, 15). It is the detestable feeling indicated by the remark of La Rochefoucald, “that there is something not altogether disagreeable to us in the misfortunes of our best friends.” (The Pulpit Commentary: New Testament)
Robertson and Plummer write that "Love cannot share the glee of the successful transgressor. (Robertson, A T and Plummer, A. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians. International Critical Commentary series. Second ed. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963)
Pritchard writes that "love does not delight in evil. It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, is not glad about injustice, and is not happy when evil triumphs. And it takes no joy in hearing evil openly discussed. Love is never glad to hear bad news about another person. Love never says, "Well, they finally got what they deserved." Love is never happy to hear that a brother or sister fell into sin. Love does not enjoy passing along bad news. This certainly goes against the grain of modern life. We all know that "Bad news sells" and that good news goes on page 75. That's why they put those supermarket tabloids right by the checkout counter. We all want to hear the latest juicy gossip about our favorite celebrities. True love isn't like that. It turns away from cheap gossip and unsubstantiated rumors. And even when the rumor turns out to be true, love takes no pleasure in the misfortunes of others.
Barnes has a thoughtful comment writing that "Does not rejoice over the vices of other men; does not take delight when they are guilty of crime, or when, in any manner, they fall into sin. It does not find pleasure in hearing others accused of sin, and in having it proved that they have committed it. It does not find a malicious pleasure in the report that they have done wrong; or in following up that report, and finding it established. Wicked men often find pleasure in this, (see note Romans 1:32) and rejoice when others have fallen into sin, and have disgraced and ruined themselves. Men of the world often find a malignant pleasure in the report and in the evidence that a member of the church has brought dishonour on his profession. A man often rejoices when an enemy, a persecutor, or a alandeter, has committed some crime, and when he has shown an improper spirit, uttered a rash expression, or taken some step which shall involve him in ignominy. But love does none of these things. It does not desire that an enemy, a persecutor, or a slanderer should do evil, or should disgrace and ruin himself. It does not rejoice, but grieves, when a professor of religion, or an enemy of religion, when a personal friend or foe, has done anything wrong. It neither loves the wrong, nor the fact that it has been done. And perhaps there is no greater triumph of the gospel than in its enabling a man to rejoice that even his enemy and persecutor in any respect does well; or to rejoice that he is in any way honoured and respected among men. Human nature, without the gospel, manifests a different feeling; and it is only as the heart is subdued by the gospel, and filled with universal benevolence, that it is brought to rejoice when all men do well. (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH: sugchairei (3SPAI) de te aletheia :
- Ex 18:9; Joshua 22:22-33; Ro 12:9; 2 Cor 7:9-16; Philippians 1:4,18; 2:17,18; 1 Th 3:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 2 Jn 1:4; 3 Jn 1:3
- 1 Corinthians 13 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
To rejoice with the truth means to be glad about behavior in agreement with the truth of God’s Word. So if someone falls into sin, don’t gloat, grieve, because that is God's attitude toward over sin. And if they repent, love rejoices.
Rejoices with (4796)(sugchairo from sun/syn = with, speaks of an intimate union + chairo = to rejoice, be glad) means literally to rejoice with, to take part in joy, to feel (and express) joy with, to share joy with (Lk 1:58+, Php 2:17+) Sugchairo describes a deep mutuality of purpose and feeling. In 1 Cor 12:26 sugchairo reflects the ideal unity of the Body of Christ to rejoice with one another. "To express pleasure over another’s good fortune, congratulate." (BDAG) Sugchairo is used twice in the form of commands in Jesus' stories of the man who rejoiced over finding his lost sheep (Luke 15:6+) and of the woman who, rejoiced over finding her lost coin, both of these individual desiring that others share in their joy (Luke 15:9+).
Robertson writes that "Joy demands fellowship."
Vine observes that "All unrighteousness is the negation of truth. Love expresses itself in truth, and all conduct that satisfies holy love satisfies truth. Truth and righteousness are associated in Eph 5:9 (note).
The truth (225) (aletheia from a = without + lêthô = that which is hidden or concealed, the combination meaning out in open) is the the unconcealed reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter.
Aletheia - 109x in 98v - NAS = certainly*(2), most(1), rightly*(1), truly*(2), truth(104).
Matt 22:16; Mark 5:33; 12:14, 32; Luke 4:25; 20:21; 22:59; John 1:14, 17; 3:21; 4:23f; 5:33; 8:32, 40, 44ff; 14:6, 17; 15:26; 16:7, 13; 17:17, 19; 18:37f; Acts 4:27; 10:34; 26:25; Rom 1:18, 25; 2:2, 8, 20; 3:7; 9:1; 15:8; 1 Cor 5:8; 13:6; 2 Cor 4:2; 6:7; 7:14; 11:10; 12:6; 13:8; Gal 2:5, 14; 5:7; Eph 1:13; 4:21, 24f; 5:9; 6:14; Phil 1:18; Col 1:5f; 2 Thess 2:10, 12f; 1 Tim 2:4, 7; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5; 2 Tim 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7f; 4:4; Titus 1:1, 14; Heb 10:26; Jas 1:18; 3:14; 5:19; 1 Pet 1:22; 2 Pet 1:12; 2:2; 1 John 1:6, 8; 2:4, 21; 3:18f; 4:6; 5:6; 2 John 1:1ff; 3 John 1:1, 3f, 8, 12.
The basic understanding of aletheia is that it is the manifestation of a hidden reality. For example, when you are a witness in a trial, the attendant says "Raise your right hand. Do you swear that you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?" And you say, "I do" and you sit down. The question is asking "Are you willing to come into this courtroom and manifest something that is hidden to us that only you know so that you will bear evidence to that?" And when you do speak the truth, you are manifesting a hidden reality.
Truth then is the correspondence between a reality and a declaration which professes to set it forth. To say it another way, words are true when they correspond with objective reality. Persons and things are true when they correspond with their profession. Hence a truth is a declaration which has corresponding reality, or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since God is Himself the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His nature is pre-eminently the Truth.
Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality as defined by God. Whatever God says is Truth. Truth is a person, Jesus.
Lenski - Where unrighteousness prevails truth is of necessity absent. Unrighteousness prevails where the heart has pleasure in it, loves it, and thus rejoices in it. There the love that Paul describes is absent. But where the heart “rejoices with the truth,” embraces it gladly, finds pleasure in possessing it, there unrighteousness is driven out. (Ibid)
Barclay writes that "Christian love has no wish to veil the truth; it is brave enough to face the truth; it has nothing to conceal and so is glad when the truth prevails. (The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press)
Pritchard writes that "Love takes joy in what is true and good and right and holy and pure. Love cheers whenever the truth wins out. It is glad to know that suspicions were unfounded. Love believes the best and is glad when the verdict is "Not guilty."
Cole explains this attribute writing that "There is a fine balance to love. Although love is kind and overlooks the faults of others, it does not compromise the truth or take a soft view of sin. To allow another person to go on in sin, whether it is known sin or a blind spot, is not to seek his best; it is not love. Love will sensitively confront and correct precisely be-cause it cares deeply and knows that sin destroys. Love rejoices with the truth. Love gets excited when it hears of spiritual victories. Love encourages by expressing joy over little evidences of growth. John, the apostle of love, wrote, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4). (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 PDF)
Barnes has a lengthy comment - The word truth here stands opposed to iniquity, and means virtue, piety, goodness. It does not rejoice in the vices, but in the virtues of others. It is pleased, it rejoices when they do well. It is pleased when those who differ from us conduct [themselves] in any manner in such a way as to please God, and to advance their own reputation and happiness. They who are under the influence of that love rejoice that good is done, and the truth defended and advanced, whoever may be the instrument; rejoice that others are successful in their plans of doing good, though they do not act with us; rejoice that other men have a reputation well earned for virtue and purity of life, though they may duffer from us in opinion, and may be connected with a different denomination. They do not rejoice when other denominations of Christians fall into error; or when their plans are blasted; or when they are calumniated, and oppressed, and reviled. By whomsoever good is done, or wheresoever, it is to them a matter of rejoicing; and by whomsoever evil is done, or wheresoever, it is to them a matter of grief. See notes Philippians 1:14;1:15; 1:16; 1:17 1:18. The reason of this is, that all sin, error, and vice, will ultimately ruin the happiness of any one; and as love desires their happiness, it desires that they should walk in the ways of virtue, and is grieved when they do not. What a change would the prevalence of this feeling produce in the conduct and happiness of mankind! How much ill-natured joy would it repress at the faults of others! How much would it do to repress the pains which a man often takes to circulate reports disadvantageous to his adversary; to find out and establish some flaw in his character; to prove that he has said or done something disgraceful and evil! And how much would it do even among Christians, in restraining them from rejoicing at the errors, mistakes, and improprieties of the friends of revivals of religion, and in leading them to mourn over their errors in secret, instead of taking a malicious pleasure in promulgating them to the world! This would be a very different world if there were none to rejoice in iniquity; and the church would be a different church if there were none in its bosom but those who rejoiced in the truth, and in the efforts of humble and self-denying piety: (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
Kistemaker comments that "Love takes notice of the evil in this world but never gloats over it. Instead it grieves over the sins that human beings commit against one another. These wrongdoings may appear in numerous forms: intentional and unintentional evils, sins of commission and omission, harsh persecution and mild neglect, and last, national conflicts and personal controversies. On the other hand, one of the characteristics of love is the constant attempt to discover good and praiseworthy words, thoughts, and deeds in a person. Love searches out the truth and rejoices when that truth is triumphing over wrong. Love and truth are inseparable partners residing in God himself. God shares these characteristics with his people. He endowed them with love and truth, which, though tainted by sin, are renewed in Christ Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. NT Commentary Set. Baker Book)