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Love Counts No Evil

I Corinthians 13 is one of the most well known passages on the subject of love. There, in verses 4-8a, we read:

I Corinthians 13:4-8a
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 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; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..."

Of the many aspects of love, the one on which I would like to concentrate here is that it does not "think" evil. The word "think" in this passage, is a translation of the Greek verb "logizo" that means "to count, reckon, calculate, compute"1. Love therefore does not count, calculate, evil. It is a love without computation of the possible personal cost.

I believe it is such love that is behind the words of the Lord in Matthew 5:38-42:

Matthew 5:38-42
"You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you: do not resist evil. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." (NKJV-KJV)

Only a love that does not calculate evil, can act on the above words of the Lord. And such is the love of God, as He showed it to us:

Romans 5:6-8
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. BUT GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US"

And Ephesians 2:4-6
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

The love of God was not manifested only in that He gave His Son, but also in that He gave Him for sinners, for people who were dead in trespasses and sins! It is such love that is our example:

I John 4:10-11
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

John 15:12-13
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one that this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

I John 3:16
"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."

The love of God did not count our evil. It did not count that we were dead in trespasses and sins. God did not give His Son for righteous but for sinners:

I Timothy 1:15
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"

Luke 5:32
"I have not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance"

Christ did not wash the feet of the obedient disciples only, but of the disobedient as well. This is really the love of God. The love of I Corinthians 13 is not to love only those who love you, those who you think they are "worthy" of your love. In contrast, it is also to love those who do not love you, those of whom you expect nothing, and even those who have harmed you:

Matthew 5:43-48
"You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Probably many times we have read the above and probably many times we have thought that they are difficult to be applied. But love is not something that comes from our own selves. By our own selves we can do nothing (John 5:30). Instead, love is a FRUIT - something that comes naturally by the NEW NATURE. As we surrender to the Lord, as we empty ourselves and allow Christ to dwell in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), the new nature brings forth its fruit in the same way as an ordinary tree: i.e. NATURALLY.

Galatians 5:22-23
"But the FRUIT of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law"

 

Anastasios Kioulachoglou

 

 



Footnotes

1. See: E.W. Bullinger "A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament", Zondervan Publishing House, p. 628 (return where you stoped)