Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but in truth (vs. 6).
The small little yellow creature was lowered precariously into the science lab, perched at the controls of a robotic claw. With the dexterity that only a professional banana peeler could possess, the creature managed to grab the gun-like thingy and begin to make his escape. However, his ascent was ill-timed, and his crooning cry of victory was smashed into the ceiling…twice. By the time he escaped the lab, he looked more like a smashed banana than the world’s greatest villain’s…minion.
Let me ask you a question—what is that scene portraying? What is it promoting as something exciting and hilarious? The answer: stealing what doesn’t belong to you. Theft. Now, they’re not robbing banks, but last time I checked stealing a shrink ray is still a punishable offense. Sin you could say. According to Proverbs 14:9, only “fools” make a mock of sin. Only a foolish man finds sin something to laugh at. So wipe that grin off and stop finding a cheap laugh in the exaltation of sin!
Wow. Sounds like I’m becoming a legalist. I don’t mean we can’t enjoy these movies—there are many positive traits to be seen. However, I just want us to think about what we’re laughing at…what we’re enjoying in modern entertainment. We’ve been duped by Hollywood into making light of sin. Or worse yet, into DESIRING it. Just look some of the latest movies—I find myself walking away from the theater wanting to be more like the villain than the hero. After all, he has all the cool gadgets and outfits and powers—what a messed-up world we live in! Full of messed-up people like myself!
Love breaks away from that. According to our next verse, love never rejoices in wrongdoing. Love doesn’t get its pleasure out of sin. Love doesn’t want to play the villain. Love always sides with the real hero. And who is that hero? The truth. That’s what love rejoices with. What is true—what is right—what is just—what is GOD. That’s something to be happy about. There are plenty of laugh moments found in truth. There is much to rejoice in when it comes to righteousness. That’s why Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord!”
And love also rejoices with the Truth—with a capital T. That is, the One Who is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. Love rejoices with what Christ has done. With Who He is. With how He lived out love. Jesus never laughed at a dirty joke. He never got excited when someone messed up—rather, He wept over people’s sin and called them back to God. He didn’t see any point in pursuing sin because He knew it would not satisfy. He found His joy entirely in the truth. He even said that His food and drink was to do His Father’s Will. That’s what He lived for, and in that Will He could rejoice, even when it led Him to a Cross. He rejoiced even in that hard and life-rending truth.
The truth that IT IS FINISHED!
And now, we can rejoice in the truth that He loved us that much—that He loved us to the cross and back!
Do you have that kind of love for truth? Do you love the truth so much that you must reject the pleasures of the world? Reject laughing at that which is flat-out wrong. Reject finding your happiness in worldly lusts. Reject finding joy in gloating over someone’s downfall. Reject desiring the powers of evil. Throw that all aside and cling to Christ as your only satisfaction. He is the truth and He is all you need. Love Him—love the Truth.
Rejoice with the ones who rejoice. Not in their sinfulness, but in their success. Find pleasure in your enemy’s growth rather than in their guiltiness. Rejoice in truth being worked into the people of your church—not in gossip. Play the part of the hero—the defender of truth. And turn down the part of the villain.
It’s no fun anyway. Just ask my friend Gru.