Paul Defines or Describes what God’s Love Does Part 2
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. KJV
Paul continues to move through with his explanation of what true love does and doesn’t do by declaring that God’s Love never “behaves itself unseemly” and this English phrase is translated by the Greek word aschemoneo which means to act unbecomingly or obnoxiously or rudely or in a manner that is not even in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society. The love of God restrains us from behaving in such a manner in public that would draw people’s attention to us despising our conduct to the point of us being a public nouscence or breaking the laws of disorderly conduct. Love compels every true believer in Christ to so conduct himself or herself in such a manner that people would have nothing disparaging to say of our behavior, but instead would be drawn to the way we are polite and courteous to all constantly saying please and thank you to everyone we encounter as a matter of our normal conduct. It is never the desire of love in the children of God to be willingly or voluntaringly offensive to any person, even the meanest person one we would encounter.
Love does not seek its own but is more concerned and most concerned in the well-being of others with the most important concern of love being expressed and lived through us the believers is that people would become true children of God by way of the miracle of regeneration and the new birth as Paul declared earlier in this very same letter with these words, “Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:32-33). Paul’s words here summed up for these Corinthian believers and for us what love desires for others and that is number one their hearts being renewed, regenerated, and reborn because nothing short of this makes a person a child of God and this is God’s Love working in us and flowing from us to see the spiritually dead be resurrected in Christ into newness of life (Romans 6:4). John Wesley (1703-1791) said this, “Sometimes the lover of mankind seeketh not, in some sense, even his own spiritual advantage; does not think of himself, so long as a zeal for the glory of God and the souls of men swallows him up.” Love is not easily provoked and this English phrase “easily provoked” is translated by the Greek word paroxuno which means to arouse to anger or to make one irritated or exasperated. Dr. Luke used this word when he described Paul’s feelings about the ungodly worship he witnessed in Athens when he said, “Now while Paul waited for them (Silas and Timothy) at Athens, his spirit was stirred (paroxuno) in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (Acts 17:16).
Paul in Athens was exasperated in a good sense over the unholy worship that took place all over this city, but Paul here in 1 Corinthians 13:5 uses this word to show how God’s Love does not get provoked to anger over personal attacks as he and we go about living a life to the Glory of God and seeking to speak the truth to the lost who have yet to be regenerated and born again of incorruptible seed by the Word God. There will always be provocation or incitement from the world of once born men and women as we are twice born men and women, but the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through God the Holy Spirit enables, energizes, and empowers us to not take those unfriendly, unruly, unholy, or ungodly gestures, attitudes, words, or behavior to heart making us respond in an unbecomingly or aggressive or angry way, for these are our marching orders as we are commanded by love as described by the Apostle James here, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:17-20).
We are “new creations” of God in Christ not on the outside, but in our inner man which is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) and therefore, we are able to respond differently now to every circumstance in our lives because the world around us has not changed and never will until our Lord Jesus Christ returns, but we are changed inwardly by Him and His Love so as to respond to the world around us that will never change. Love does not ever think evil or as this English word think is translated by Greek word logizomai which means to take an inventory or to account or to put on one’s ledger. The English word evil is translated by the Greek word kakos which means that which is depraved, injurious, harmful, or wicked. The love that is manifested in the heart of a true believer in Christ never keeps a record of the injurious or wicked things perpetrated against him or her with the desire to pay back the guilty party, but continually, constantly, and courageously wipes all the acts or words of evil directed at them away. It does not mean that they do not from time to time recall or recount these hurtful deeds or words, but God’s Love gives them the desire and then the ability to forget them and still manifest love to the person or persons when they encounter them, as it is written, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions” (Proverbs 10:12) and also “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends” (Proverbs 17:9).
“It means that love, or that a person under the influence of love, is not malicious, censorious, disposed to find fault, or to impute improper motives to others. It is not only “not easily provoked,” not soon excited, but it is not disposed to “think” that there was any evil intention even in cases which might tend to irritate or exasperate us. It is not disposed to think that there was any evil in the case; or that what was done was with any improper intention or design; that is, it puts the best possible construction on the conduct of others, and supposes, as far as can be done, that it was in consistency with honesty, truth, friendship, and love.” Albert Barnes
“Love is never satisfied but in the welfare, comfort, and salvation of all. That man is no Christian who is solicitous for his own happiness alone; and cares not how the world goes, so that himself be comfortable.” Adam Clarke
“It does nothing out of place or time; but behaves towards all men as becomes their rank and ours, with reverence and respect to superiors, with kindness and condescension to inferiors, with courtesy and good-will towards all men. It is not for breaking order, confounding ranks bringing all men on a level; but for keeping up the distinction God has made between men, and acting decently in its own station, and minding its own business, without taking upon it to mend, or censure, or despise, the conduct of others. Love will do nothing that misbecomes it.” Matthew Henry
“Love is the motivation for enduring offenses from others, even to the point of physical, emotional, or spiritual injury because love is most concerned with the offender’s soul (seeing them be born again) and that far outweighs the offense taken.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…