TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Comprehensive Edition

II. Antitheses of Love

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Chapter 31  Part II

Antitheses of Love

We have various tendencies that work counter to love. These largely involve selfish attitudes and ill feelings – along with the adverse speech and actions that they produce. These greatly inhibit and harm our relationships with others, and must be avoided.

Selfish Attitudes

Do not pursue selfish ends

Phil 2:3a  Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited.  GW

Rom 2:8  … but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.  ESV

Do not be greedy

Matt 23:25  How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desires.  GW

Prov 28:25  A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.  ESV

Do not covet

Ex 20:17  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”  ESV

We are not to crave or desire anything that belongs to another person.

Seek the interests of others before your own . . .

1Cor 10:24, 33  [Paul, to believers:] None of you should be looking to your own interests, but to the interests of others.33Just do as I do; I try to please everyone in all that I do, not thinking of my own good, but of the good of all, so that they might be saved.  GNT

. . . Do so even at great cost to yourself, as Jesus Christ did

2Cor 8:9  [Paul, to believers:] For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich.  NET

Ruth 2:11  Boaz replied to her [Ruth], “I have been given a full report of all that you have done for your mother–in–law following the death of your husband – how you left your father and your mother, as well as your homeland, and came to live among people you did not know previously.  NET

 Questions for Section A

Ill Feelings

Note that in this and the following sections, many of the subsections begin with verses giving directions, followed by verses containing outcomes, examples or insights.

Control and avoid anger

Eph 4:26-27, 31  When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. 27Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.31Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.  NCV™

James 1:19-20  Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.  NET

Do not hate

Lev 19:17a  You must not hate your fellow citizen in your heart.  NCV™

1Jn 4:20  If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  NET

Get rid of bitterness and malice

Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  ESV

Do not be jealous . . .

Rom 13:13  Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy.  NET

Prov 27:4  Wrath is cruel and anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?  NET

Here “who” may refer to the one who is jealous, rather than the one who is the object of the jealousy. Jealousy has an irresistible, detrimental effect on those in whom it abides – as does envy (cf. Prov 14:30 ⇓).

. . . Do not envy

1Cor 13:4  Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up.  NET

Prov 14:30  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.  ESV

Do not show contempt

Prov 18:3  When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace.  ESV

This shows the evil nature of contempt, indicating that it is or can be bred by wickedness. Note that “contempt” means to regard someone (or something) as inferior, insignificant or foolish.

 Questions for Section B

Adverse Speech

Do not quarrel

Prov 17:14, 19a  Starting a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before a fight breaks out.19Whoever loves to argue loves to sin.  NCV™

Do not curse

Rom 12:14  Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.  NET

James 3:9-10  [James, to believers:] With it [the tongue] we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.  NET

Do not mock

Ps 1:1  Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers.  GW

Do not slander

1Pet 2:1  So get rid of all evil and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.  NET

Do not gossip

Prov 16:28  A perverse person spreads dissension, and a gossip separates the closest friends.  NET

Do not grumble, particularly against others

Phil 2:14-15  [Paul, to believers:] Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world …  NET

James 5:9  [James, to believers:] Do not grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be judged. See, the judge stands before the gates!  NET

Grumbling or complaining against others is an outward expression of inner condemnatory judgment of them – which leaves oneself open to such judgment.

 Questions for Section C

Adverse Force

Do not use violence . . .

Jonah 3:8  [The king of Nineveh:] Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly to God, and everyone must turn from their evil way of living and from the violence that they do.  NET

. . . God hates and punishes violence

Mal 2:16a  “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. “I hate the person who covers himself with violence,” says the Lord of Armies.  GW

Ezek 7:23  [God:] Make chains for captives, because the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.  NCV™

God would punish his people’s violence with captivity.

Do not murder

Ex 20:13  You shall not murder.  NET

Do not rape

Deut 22:25  [Moses, to the Israelites:] But if the man came across the engaged woman in the field and overpowered her and raped her, then only the rapist must die.  NET

The NT does not propagate the death penalty. Nevertheless its mention in regard to such actions (cf. 24:7 ⇓) serves to illustrate the seriousness of the crime.

Do not kidnap

Deut 24:7  [Moses, to the Israelites:] If a man is found kidnapping a person from among his fellow Israelites, and regards him as mere property and sells him, that kidnapper must die. In this way you will purge evil from among you.  NET

Do not oppress

Ezek 45:9  Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people, declares the Lord God.  ESV

Ezek 18:7a  He [a righteous person] doesn’t oppress anyone.  GW

 Questions for Section D

Pray for persecuted Christians