Previous posts in the Live Alive series can be found here.
Tonight I'll be brief. My husband and I just returned from a refreshing little trip to North Carolina and tomorrow is a holiday, so blogging time is limited today.
Today's section on love from I Corinthians 13 says this:
[love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
It reminds me of Paul;s other words in Romans 12:9
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Living in the way of love is living alive. So what we learn here is that living alive involves rejoicing in the truth, and not at wrong doing, iniquity, or evil. There's a call on the alive life to be active: actively seeking to avoid or prevent evil, actively pursuing and rejoicing in what is true and good. This can be in our personal life or on a grander scale in our communities, societies, etc.
Looking briefly at some commentaries this morning, several commentators mentioned how this relates to our interpersonal relationships. Living alive in love will mean we will want the best for others and refuse to color things against others. Matthew Henry says of this I Corinthians verse, paraphrased and quoted:
Love has no pleasure in doing hurt or injury or in others' faults or failings. "... the sin of others are rather a grief of a charitable spirit than its sport or delight; they will touch it to the quick and stir all its compassion, but give it no entertainment. IT IS THE VERY HEIGHT OF MALICE TO TAKE PLEASURE IN THE MISERY OF A FELLOW-CREATURE." (emphasis mine)
Love rejoices to lift up the other and not latch onto any opportunity to harm or mock them. Love delights to rejoice in the truth that that person is also an image-bearer with a capacity to respond to God in faith. It reminds me of Proverbs 24:17-18
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,lest the LORD see it and be displeasedand turn away His anger from him.
I don't know that it always works out that way, but what a warning, right? Don't rejoice when someone against whom you've set your heart has a setback or a real failure. That is wrong. Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, in others ... or in ourselves! If we want to live alive, which is living in love, we must renounce our desire to delight in wrongdoing.
But we also have a new outlet for rejoicing: truth! Yesterday I was in chapter 15 of Luke in my daily reading, which tells three different stories of lost things being found: a sheep, a coin, and a prodigal son. Each story ends with a verse about rejoicing and celebrating:
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance. v. 7
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. v. 10
It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found. v. 32
Rejoicing in the truth means not only in righteousness triumphing in the world or people around us making good decisions, but also when the kingdom advances and grows as people who are lost are found, i.e. made alive!
Living alive means getting excited at the work God is doing in the world. Maybe this week, as you give thanks, you can throw in some rejoicing at what God has done in your life and what Hes doing around the globe, advancing Truth and bringing new life.
Rejoice with the truth!