Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 13:6
“Does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6
Paul here moves to an area that we are seeing more and more in our culture. He is saying that love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. It does not celebrate the vices of another. It does not take delight when someone commits a crime or falls into any sin. Today, when we look at our movies and even our TV programming, we see many shows that focus on the evils in society, and unfortunately, these are the ones that are the most successful. Those regarding positivity often do not do as well.
However, this is not limited to our entertainment, but we are seeing this occurring in real life. First, I want to make clear that the type of love being discussed here is based on agape love, which can be as charity. This type of love is not as concerned with ourselves but is more concerned with the greater good of another. It is not born out of our emotions or feelings, but from a desire to see the best for everyone. And this includes those that many find difficult to love. Therefore it does not see as a positive any form of wrongdoing against anyone. And this includes those many find difficult to love.
We may think, who rejoices in unrighteousness? But is it not a frequent case that people who have received any kind of injury have decided to avenge themselves, or perhaps leave it to God to avenge them: causing something terrible to happen, and then consoling themselves with what appears to them evidence that God has brought revenge and do at least secretly rejoice that the man is suffering for his misdeeds? Jesus, when He was suffering on the cross did not wish evil on those who did this. “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” Luke 23:34. As difficult as it can be, we are called to think the same way. God does not call us to desire harm or evil upon them. As Gordon D., Fee says in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, “But for the apostle, love stands on the side of the gospel and looks for redemptive mercy and justice for all, including those with whom one disagrees.”
And lastly, we are called to rejoice in truth. We are to rejoice with everything that is the opposite of falsehood and iniquity. We are not to rejoice in the vices but in virtues of others. We should be pleased when people do well when it is done in ways that are not wrong or evil. And we should rejoice when those who are evil get saved, celebrating because they have received salvation and have turned around: that they have accepted the truth of God through the gospel. The truth is that God wants all to be saved. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. This should be our way of thinking. That no matter what anyone does, we should desire their salvation, which is the greatest good we could ever wiah for anyone.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.