Summary: Exposition of 1 Cor 13:5-6 regarding the next three qualities of Christian love: not easily angered, not keeping records of wrongs, rejoices in truth, not in inquities
Text: 1 Corinthians 13:5b-6, Title: The Hallmarks of Love 3, Date/Place: NRBC, 3/7/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: A young man left his employer, a lumber merchant, and began business in opposition to him. For a while he prospered greatly and got many orders that would have gone to the firm he had left. But just when his business seemed to be most flourishing, and he had more orders than he could supply, a great fire in his yard destroyed all his lumber. The day after the fire he saw his old employer coming toward his office, and he said, “I could have hated him, for I thought he was coming to gloat over my misfortune. But he came to me as a friend in need and said, “I know you are contracted to supply lumber to your customers by certain dates, and this unfortunate fire makes it impossible for you to do it. But my lumberyard is at your disposal. You can have what you need and pay me at your own convenience. Your business may go on as usual.” The young man was overwhelmed by this example; the hatred that he had felt gave place to love.
B. Background: Paul continues in his list of defining qualities of Christian love. Four more verbs indicate things that love is not. Reminder: agape love is defined as an unconditional, self-sacrificing, and highly valuing love.
C. Main thought: Three more hallmarks of genuine Christian love.
A. Love is not getting easily angered (v. 5b)
1. In Corinth, one group was puffed up with pride over their status in the church and use of spiritual gifts, and the other group was angry about their attitude and injury. One group boasted and bragged, while the other became better and nursed their wounds. Paul says that both are in the wrong. It’s kinda like marriage counseling when one or both spouses come expecting you to fix the other because they are the problem. This character of love is a continuance or a reemphasis of exercising patience, as found in v. 4. This word means to be easily angered, irritated, incited, or stirred up to anger. It means something between irritation and anger which takes offense because one’s self-regard has been dented, wounded, or punctured by some sharp point. It speaks of love’s ability not to be led into sinful reactions toward others, even when persistently pestered. It speaks of a lack of concern for one’s own rights, in that we don’t get angry when we are deprived. It speaks of the difference between righteous anger and sinful concern for self. In fact this word was used of Paul in Athens when his spirit was provoked within him over idolatry.
2. Pro 14:17, 15:18; Pro 16:32; Col 3:8, Eph 4:31, Matt 5:22, Pro 29:11
3. Illustration: “She makes me so angry.” “Love cannot alter the fact that one may get on your nerves, but it can rule out allowing yourself to be provoked by it.” Karl Barth, “Love considers nothing its right, and everything its obligation” –JM, It is said of Julius Caesar that, when provoked, he used to repeat the whole Roman alphabet before he allowed himself to speak. Keep cool; anger is not an argument. “He who goes to bed angry has the devil for a bed-fellow.” Never take your enemies to bed with you.”