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The Qualities of Love (4 of 5)
I Corinthians 5-6
Love is not provoked; taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth. -1 Corinthians 13:5-6
Love is never irritated, never resentful; love is never glad when others go wrong; love is gladdened by goodness. -1 Corinthians 13:5-6 Moffatt
We must not imagine as we read this chapter that the various qualities the apostle assigns to love are set down anyhow, casually, at random, just as they occurred to the apostle's mind. Paul's mind was an enormously fertile mind, but it was also an orderly and consecutive mind. If you will only brood over these various attributes of love as the apostle sets them down you will find that they follow one another in a certain natural sequence of thought. The first of the phrases we are to consider together this morning illustrates the truth of what I am saying. The series of phrases which I have read out as my text, taken together, may be said, as Mr. Percy Ainsworth suggests, to describe love's attitude in face of wrong. The first thing Paul says about love in this connection is that it is 'not provoked.' But I cannot bring myself to feel that that is at all an adequate translation of the words of the original. I suppose the revisers clung to the word provoked because it had been made familiar and dear by the kjv rendering. I think they would have been better advised to choose another word altogether. I am not sure indeed that the kjv rendering, 'is not easily provoked,' does not really come nearer to the apostle's meaning, although in the original Greek there is no separate word for 'easily.' Because the idea of quick blazing into wrath is certainly in the verb Paul uses. Love is often 'provoked,' but it is not swift to flame up into anger. 'Love is not irritated,' is Moffatt's translation. It does not allow itself to be exasperated. I should be inclined to substitute an adjective for the verb and say 'Love is not irritabl ...
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