1 Corinthians 13:6 KJV
Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
but rejoiceth in the truth;
Berean Study Bible
Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth.
Berean Literal Bible
It does not delight at unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.
New King James Version
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
New American Standard Bible
it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity.
The attitude of our mind towards sin, is a great test of the truth of our religious feeling.
Cf. Psalm 5:4-5, ‘Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.’ And Hosea 7:3; Romans 1:32; 2 Thessalonians 2:12.
Love takes no pleasure in seeing an adversary fall into an error or sin, by which his reputation should be blasted, and his interest ruined.
On the contrary, the man influenced by this love, is truly sorry for either the sin or folly of even an enemy; takes no pleasure in hearing or in repeating it, but desires it may be forgotten for ever.
- Love does not rejoice over the “vices” of other people; 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 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 people often find pleasure in this (Romans 1:32), and rejoice when others have fallen into sin, and have disgraced and ruined themselves.
- People of the world often find a malignant pleasure in the report, and in the evidence that a member of the Church has brought dishonor on his profession.
- A man often rejoices when an enemy, a persecutor, or a slanderer 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 honored and respected among people.
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 people do well.
[Love] takes no pleasure — χαίρει (chairei) — Verb – Present Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular — A primary verb; to be ‘cheer’ful, i.e. Calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation, be well.
In — ἐπὶ (epi) — Preposition — On, to, against, on the basis of, at.
Evil — ἀδικίᾳ (adikia) — Noun – Dative Feminine Singular — Injustice, unrighteousness, hurt. From adikos; injustice; morally, wrongfulness.
But rejoiceth in the truth
Good in general is its glory and joy, wherever diffused through the world; while it brings forth its proper fruit, holiness of heart and life, with constancy and perseverance.
Better, as margin, and Vulgate, with the truth.
Love rejoiceth with the victory of Truth in the world, and at the consequent decline of unrighteousness, which is the opposite of truth. Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 John 1:4.
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 people have a reputation well earned for virtue and purity of life, though they may differ 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 Philippians 1:14-18).
The “reason” of this is, that all sin, error, and vice will ultimately ruin the happiness of anyone; 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.
But — δὲ (de) — Conjunction — A primary particle; but, and, etc.
Rejoices — συνχαίρει (synchairei) — Verb – Present Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular — To rejoice with, congratulate. From sun and chairo; to sympathize in gladness, congratulate.
In the — τῇ (tē) — Article – Dative Feminine Singular — The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.
Truth — ἀληθείᾳ (alētheia) — Noun – Dative Feminine Singular — From alethes; truth.
Charity does not only rejoice in the possession of truth, for that would be selfishness, but rejoices with it whenever she finds it in others.
Possessing the whole truth herself, and yet being too humble and too loving to be arrogant in the possession of it, she rejoices as a part of herself, as it were very grains of truth in masses of error, by attracting them to herself by the truth which they hold, or seem to hold, or that remnant of a righteousness, which is, or seems to be, still left in them: remnants of righteousness even in the life of the unrighteous.
Just as a magnet draws to itself grains of true metals out of a mass of sand, so she draws others to the whole truth.
Erasmus tells of one who collected all the lame and defective verses in Homer’s works, but passed over all that were excellent.
So these, if they can spy anything defective and evil, they observe it, and gather all they can together, but will take no notice of that which is good and praiseworthy; like the kite who flies over the fair meadows and flowers, and lights only upon the carrion, or like flies that love only to be upon the sore, galled places of the horse’s back.
Love does have its delights.
One of those delights is in what is authentic, genuine, and true.
- So as Jesus’ disciples, we should not be deceitful, manipulative, or coercive in our relationships.
- Instead, we should be transparent, intimate, and honest.
Because true love delights in truth.
- Ask the Lord to pour His love into your heart.
- Ask the Lord to refine your love, to be genuine and true, without guile, manipulation, and deceit.
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