By Hugh Binning
thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 1st Corinthians 13 NKJV
Christian love “thinks no evil.” This love is apt to take all things in the best sense. If a thing may be subject to different interpretations, it can put the best construction on it. It is so benign and good in its own nature that it is not inclined to suspect others. It desires to condemn no man, but would gladly, as far as reason and conscience will permit, free from guilt every man. It is so far from the desire of revenge, that it is not provoked or troubled by an injury. For that were nothing else but to wrong itself because others have wronged it already, and it is so far from wronging others, that it will not willingly so much as think evil of them.
Yet if need require, love can execute justice, and inflict chastisement, not out of desire of another’s misery, but out of love and compassion to mankind. Charitas non punit quia peccatum est, sed, peccaretur– it looks more to prevention of future sin, than to revenge of a past fault. and can do all things with calmness of spirit, as a physician cuts a vein without anger. Quis enim cut medetur irascitur? –”who is angry with his own patient?”
Love “Does not rejoice in iniquity.” Love is marred in itself, though it lower itself to all. Though it can love and wish well of evil men, yet it does not rejoice in iniquity. It is like the sun’s light that shines on a pile of manure, and is not defiled, receives no impurity from it. Some base and wicked spirits make a sport to do mischief themselves, and take pleasure in others that do it. But love does not rejoice in iniquity or injustice, though it were done to its own enemy. It cannot take pleasure in the unjust sufferings of any who hate it, because it has no enemy except sin and iniquity and hates nothing else with a perfect hatred. Therefore whatever advantage should come back to itself by other men’s iniquities, it cannot rejoice, that iniquity, its capital enemy, should reign and prevail.
But it “rejoices in the truth.” The advancement and progress of others in the way of truth and holiness is its pleasure. Though that should eclipse its own glory, yet it does not look on it with an jealous eye, it is not grieved to find it and know it, but can rejoice at anything that may give evidence of goodness in others. There is nothing more beautiful in its eyes than to see everyone get their own due, though itself should come behind.
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