Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth.
This aspect of love is not referring to our actions but instead calls up our relationship with others. This description reveals that when we lack love, we are guilty of an attitude which is glad (secretly or otherwise) over the faults, failures, or misfortunes of others. Love, on the other hand, is grieved by such and rather rejoices when others walk in truth and enjoy the blessings of that.
One commentator described it this way: “…the malicious pleasure which comes to most of us when we hear something derogatory about someone else.” Ouch. Does that prick your heart like it does mine? It brings to mind I Peter 4:8 – Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins. Love does not want to expose the sins of others – it longs rather to protect, to shield, to redeem. When confrontation is necessary (Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15-17), it is done gently, privately, with restoration as the goal, not exposure. The “covering” is not a denial of sin but rather a protection, a desire to see the person walk uprightly and avoid the consequences of sin.
Love is glad for another’s righteousness and finds pleasure in the blessings that brings. This reminds us of the basic nature of love – that of unselfishness. Of delighting in the highest good of others.
Let’s pause for a moment and let the light of His truth penetrate our hearts. Is it shining on any dark spots of wrongly rejoicing? Take a few moments and confess this, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive us when we do.
Then ask Him for the gift of repentance so that we can walk forward in truth.