God does not rejoice at wrongdoing

“Attributes of Love” Series Introduction:  1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love”, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 lists the attributes of love. So in this series, we’re going to discuss each of the attributes in those verses, one by one, to learn more about the nature of God.


This probably comes as no surprise, but God does not rejoice at wrongdoing.

But I think it does need to be said. Because people who don’t know the Lord sometimes act as if God DOES delight in wrongdoing. Like, He created these rules arbitrarily, and He’s just waiting for them to screw up so He can say “see, I got you, you sinned!”.  They might even think that He tempts them, or puts temptations in their path, so He can catch them in the act. He’s just made it so hard on purpose.
But that’s not how God is.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

No, God doesn’t want us to sin. He tells us the rules upfront, He tells us how to do good, He puts leaders and influences in our lives, He gives us a conscience. He even gives us an escape hatch:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

And if all that fails, He offers us forgiveness:

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Clearly, God doesn’t rejoice in our wrongdoings, but desires for us to do good and act righteously.

What about us? We’ve all been in that “peer pressure” situation where someone is trying to convince someone else to do something they know they shouldn’t. As followers of Christ, are we constantly looking to catch others in wrongdoing? Are we putting temptations in someone’s path? Are we just making so many rules and conventions and traditions and …just making it too difficult for people to be good? Maybe that’s why some people think God acts that way? Because humans act that way. 

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

But this isn’t just a recommendation.

Luke 17:1-2 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.

Why is that? Why is creating temptation so bad? Because it is a symptom of our heart condition, that we want to see wrongdoing, not righteousness.

Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. God does not rejoice at wrongdoing. And we should not either.

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