Tag Archives: justice

Love Does Not Delight in Evil

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV

Love does not delight in evil.

Evil takes on many forms. It can be seductive and alluring. It can present itself as entertaining and harmless. It can make us feel good for a moment. In the end though, evil in any form is destructive.

The devil is constantly at work all around us; purposing to drive a wedge between us and God. That is evil.

Humans are twisted creatures. We wish harm to come to others. We participate in inflicting damage upon them. We enjoy knowing someone has reaped the consequences of their actions. These tend to be people who have wronged us in some way. This too, is evil, and yet, we’re all guilty of it.

Put yourself in this scenario.  Think about a time that someone reaped a consequence of their own actions and you delighted in knowing that they got what was coming to them.  You can admit to doing it, all of us have at some point.  You, whether you knew it or not, were condoning the wrongdoing because you praised the results.  That’s not love.

Love, instead, would mourn that the person had made an unwise choice and saw things play out badly.  Love would seek to bring the person to righteousness through truth.  Then, when truth spoke into that person’s life, someone who loves them would be glad for them.  Jonah didn’t get this one right.  When he preached to the people of Ninevah, they repented and turned to God (Jonah 3:10-4:1).  If he loved them, Jonah would have praised the Lord that these people had been saved from destruction.  But instead he grumbled because he didn’t want the Ninevites to avoid God’s wrath.  He would have rather they fall because of all their past sins.  He didn’t know how to delight in truth.

The statement in 1 Corinthians 13 is full of meaning. Here are few of my thoughts as I read and re-read that statement (Love does not delight in evil):

  • In love, we do not rejoice when we witness evil.
  • In love, we do not find pleasure in seeing someone else come to harm.
  • In love, we do not relish in knowing that someone is hell bound.
  • In love, we do not desire wrong (actions, things, thoughts, etc.).
  • In love, we do not eagerly partake in harmful behavior.
  • In love, there is no delight in destruction.

Let me get one thing straight. Harm and destruction do happen, but love does not delight in it. Some will embrace evil and suffer its consequences, but love mourns their loss.

When we say love does not delight in evil, we mean that a loving person does not focus his/her attention on the wrongs others have committed against them. Love recognizes that only God knows the hearts of people. It does not hastily assume sinister intents lie behind another’s actions.

We are also called to be discerning. If we have strong evidence of evil, we must act accordingly. Even as we do this, we must be careful to be as impartial as possible in our evaluations of others.

Otherwise, we run the risk of rejoicing in wrongdoing, something Christian love would never do. When we quickly assume ill of others, we invite the temptation to gossip and slander. The human heart loves to hear salacious stories. In doing so, we end up rejoicing in evil – not truth.

I can’t help but think of the words Jesus said during His journey to the cross in Luke 23. Battered and beaten, abused and ridiculed, rejected and crucified…Jesus held on to love. He did not delight in the evil which they had embraced. He found no joy in knowing they did not know Him. He was not pleased to know they were bound for hell. He was filled with sorrow for the very same people who had placed Him on that cross. He mourned their ignorance of God’s love. He cried out for their forgiveness. He did that for you; He did that for me.

Thinking of that brings David Crowder’s renditions of How He Loves to mind. Enjoy the video – lyrics:

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all

We are His portion; He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way…

What wondrous love! God’s love!

Just as He loves, we are called to love.

Scripture for encouragement today:

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices. Colossians 3:9

But now you also, put them aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Colossians 3:8

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Today’s Challenge:  Remove anything that is “evil” from your relationships. Stop tallying up the wrongs people have committed against you. Forgive and let God love them through you.

A Resolution to Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with my God

Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NASB

I’ve been searching throughout my near-27-year existence. I chose to follow Christ at the age of four while sitting on my mother’s lap reading a bed time story and since then I’ve been searching. What did it mean to be a Christian? I know I have a purpose and a place; what is it? Even as a young adult, I still have questions. What should I study that would make an impact in my world? What opportunities should I accept? Which direction should I pursue? Should I go back to school? And for what?

I want to be in His will, but I’m not sure what that looks like in my life. I want to be a part of something that will make an impact for His kingdom…not one I construct out of the temporary materials of this life. That doesn’t mean anything. That doesn’t leave a footprint.

Then I read the following questions:

 

What if the discolusure of His continued purposes for your life is at least partly dependent on your obedience to what He’s already set before you? What if He wants to see your level of faithfulness in responding to what you do know before He fills you in on what you don’t?

 

Micah 6:8 states that God has shown us.

This much I do know:

  1. Do justice.
  2. Love mercy.
  3. Walk humbly with my God.

Justice. A woman resolved to do justice doesn’t take advantage of people even if she has the means and opportunity to do so. She determines instead to act rightly – to pursue a just solution – to deliberately consider the best way people or circumstances could be served in a particular situation, even if at her own expense. Her primary interest is seeing justice done, seeking solutions that are fair, reasonable, objective and, most importantly, expressive of the love of Christ.

I want to be that type of woman.

Mercy. To “love mercy” means to have a hearty interest in doing things that bless and impact others’ lives. It means considering their needs above your own, not because they necessarily deserve it but simply because you “love” doing it for them.

That what God’s mercy looks like toward you and me. He has chosen to give what we don’t deserve. Like Christ, we should be willing to do gracious things for toherseven when their actions and past choices don’t necessarily warrant it.

Just because.

Humility. Combine justice and mercy. What do you get? Someone who walks humbly with their God. She continuously puts the needs of others first. Correctly assesses her own value. She doesn’t see herself too hihgy, of course, but not too lowly either. She just pursues the will of God daily, faithfully trusting that what He’s said and commanded of her is worth her doing her very best. And when He’s ready to share more, she’s ready to receive it and respond.

Wrap all three together and you get a full life.

So why am I still searching?

Is it because it messes with the American dream that our culture attempts to brainwash us in?

Am I concerned about being uncomfortable?

This is at the very heart of the gospel I claim to believe. It is what God requires of me. How can I say that I want to be a part of God’s will and ignore this very vital part?

Gary A. Haugen writes, “Christians…seem to have the amazing ability to say the most wonderful things without actually believing them…(i.e. blessed are the poor and humble; it’s better to give than to receive; just not, lest you be judged; love your neighbor as yourself, etc.)…and examining, one by one, how differently I would live my life if I actually believed such things. The sayings of Christ coexist passively in their minds, producing hardly any effect beyond what is cause by mere listening to words so amiable and bland.”

Challenging and true.

If we really believed the gospel that we’ve been called to live, don’t you that we would then live like it, even it meant dealing with the discomforts His commands may cause?

My heart burns.

Compassion is rising.

Who is God calling you to seek justice for? To show kindness toward?

The woman who lives under the overpass you see every day on your way to work.

The neighbor who’s soldier-husband recently came home wounded from war. She’s now a caregiver not only for her three young children but also for her disabled partner.

The teenager, pregnant for the second time, whos’ been ostracized by her family and really needs a shoulder to lean on.

All of these require time, energy and resources; gifts and extras that we may feel like we can’t give.

But know this…

If God births in you the compassion to help, He will also multiple in you the means to handle it.

Obeying Him is the key that unlocks that door.

Take each opportunity to know His will and do it without reservation.

Walk justly, mercifully and humbly with your God.