Common As This Is

It (love) “rejoices not in iniquity;” common as this is, even among those who bear the name of Christ, who scruple not to rejoice over their enemy, when he falls either into affliction, or error, or sin. Indeed, how hardly can they avoid this, who are zealously attached to any party!  How difficult is it for them not to be pleased with any fault which they discover in those of the opposite party–with any real or supposed blemish, either in their principles or practice!

What warm defender of any cause is clear of these? Yea, who is so calm as to be altogether free?  Who does not rejoice when his adversary makes a false step, which he thinks will advantage his own cause?  Only a man of love. He alone weeps over either the sin or folly of his enemy, takes no pleasure in hearing or repeating it, but rather desires that it may be forgotten for ever.

John Wesley (1748)

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11 comments on “Common As This Is

  1. bobraxton says:

    she : her

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    • Bill says:

      Hershey’s is the largest chocolate manufacturer in the U.S. Their chocolate, like that of all the cheap-chocolate sellers, is derived in part from the labor of child slaves in West Africa. It’s best to buy only fair trade chocolate.

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, Aaah, your making me really think this week. To rejoice over an enemy’s defeat would be a natural worldly thing to do. I’m proud of our country’s history of action after wars. Our nation during world war II went to war not to conquer or rule but to stop atrocities happening to people groups. After the war we as a country started helping rebuild the broken country. To gloat over victory and to continually hold victory over the opponents is in very bad taste in my humble opinion. It’s why I’m not so much a big sports fan of any one team. I do like to watch a well played evenly matched game but win or lose my prayer is always that the players would have played the best game they know how to play. My best times of learning and understanding has come through losses and failures. Lord knows that I’ve had plenty of those through out my life time.

    Have a great loving your enemy day.

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    • Bill says:

      Yes, but here Wesley is addressing not so much rejoicing over the defeat of a wartime enemy, but taking pleasure in scandals and personal shortcomings (real or supposed) of those in political parties we oppose. I see it almost daily and could see it more if I looked harder. Taking delight in the mistakes of politicians on the other side of us is evidently not unique to our times.

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  3. jubilare says:

    What a word for contentious times (and all times are contentious).

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  4. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Ah! Pretty much “Do unto others” from the back door?

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    • Bill says:

      The Golden Rule covers most situations doesn’t it? If we wouldn’t want folks to gloat over our personal shortcomings, then it makes sense not to gloat over those of others, it seems to me.

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      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        People who live in glass houses…
        Let he who is without sin…
        (Lots about rocks; ) but yup, it’s all about the Golden Rule…
        But there’s the thing; KNOWing what to do is easy – it’s the DOing that’s the hard part; )

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