“does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;” 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NKJV)
Love Does Not Behave Rudely– This refers to actions that are improper, impolite, discourteous, or crude. Love never seeks to humiliate or degrade others. A personal peeve of mine is when husbands refer to their wives as “the old bag” or “the old ball and chain.” The church is the bride of Christ and we never see Him referring to the church in this fashion. When I love someone I won’t treat them in a way that makes them feel put down.
Love Does Not Seek Its Own-Love looks out for others and seeks their best interest. The type of love that Paul speaks of here is a love that is self-sacrificing and willing gives of itself.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16 (NKJV)
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 (NKJV)
Love is the opposite of being selfish, and self-centered. Love causes us to care about others and their needs ahead of our own. When I love someone I won’t always have to have my way. When I love someone I can put their wants, needs and dreams ahead of my own.
Love Is Not Provoked-Love is not easily angered or touchy. These are people who let every tiny little thing get on their nerves. “The real meaning of this is that Christian love never becomes exasperated with people. Exasperation is always a sign of defeat. When we lose our tempers, we lose everything.” (William Barclay) When I love someone everything they do won’t get on my nerves.
Love Thinks No Evil-Love doesn’t have a book keeping track of every wrong every done to me. Some people will remember every offense against them as though it were written in a book and tallied. Some people do keep every offense committed against them tallied in a book, and seek to bring these up at every opportunity. This however is not something that love does.
Bringing up past offenses is a very ungodly character trait. We are taught several times in the Bible that God does not do this to us. (Hebrews 8:12 Isaiah 43:25). When we bring up the past offenses of those we love we are not acting like God because once He forgives us for them, He doesn’t bring them up any longer. However we are also told that Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). Satan is the one who brings up our past. When we bring up past offenses we are acting more like Satan than Jesus. If we keep bringing it up we probably haven’t forgiven them for it. If we’ve forgiven someone for the things they’ve done to us we need to quit bringing it up. When I love someone I won’t constantly bring up how they’ve wronged me in the past.
Love Does Not Rejoice In Iniquity But Rejoices In The Truth– Love takes no pleasure when others fail. Love does not does not rejoice over the “vices” of other people. Love does not take delight when they are guilty of crime, or when, in any manner, they fall into sin. It is very common in our culture to find people who take an almost perverse pleasure hearing about the failures of others. People seem to thrive on other people’s mistakes. One of the great tragedies of the Church is that when another believer falls into sin, rather than mourning their fall and praying for their restoration, we secretly take pleasure in it. This is a vivid illustration of our lack of love. Love however does not do this. When I love someone I won’t receive any pleasure when they fail spiritually, morally or any other way.