Intermediate 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

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

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

Do not be greedy

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.   Matthew 23:25 GW

Do not covet

‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’   Deuteronomy 5:21 ESV

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

Seek the interests of others before your own . . .

[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.   1 Corinthians 10:24, 33 GNT

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

[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.   2 Corinthians 8:9 NET

Ill Feelings

Control and avoid anger

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.   Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 NCV™

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.   James 1:19-20 NET

Do not hate

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

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.   1 John 4:20 NET

Get rid of any bitterness or malice

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

Do not be jealous

Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives.   Romans 13:13 GW

Adverse Speech

Do not quarrel

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.   Proverbs 17:14, 19a NCV™

Do not slander

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

Do not gossip

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

Do not grumble against others

[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!   James 5:9 NET

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

Adverse Force

Do not use violence

[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.   Jonah 3:8 NET

Do not murder

You shall not murder.   Exodus 20:13 NET

Do not rape

[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.   Deuteronomy 22:25 NET

The NT does not propagate the death penalty. Nevertheless its mention in regard to such actions shows the seriousness of the crime.

Do not oppress

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.   Ezekiel 45:9 ESV

Pray for persecuted Christians