Tag Archives: truth

Love Rejoices With the Truth

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6

Love rejoices with the truth. What is the truth? In our day, truth is a relative term; it may mean one thing to me and another thing to another person. This is the “I’m OK; you’re OK” generation. To understand truth we must go to the Word of God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

Truth is not a relative term; it is an absolute! The basis of truth is God; God is truth! When we begin to understand that all truth comes from God, we begin to understand how love rejoices with the truth.

It really does not matter how we feel about any topic; it doesn’t even matter if we believe in God! Truth does not change; it does not depend upon us. If not one man ever believed in Christ, the truth of God still would not change.

No truly loving relationship is ever established upon a lie; and no loving relationship can grow or mature unless it is based upon truth. Am I saying that all Christian marriages will succeed and all non-Christian marriages will fail? Absolutely not. What I am saying, however, is that all marriages will grow and strengthen when they are established upon truth.

When are you most proud of your spouse/son/daughter/friend? Is it when they have won a well-earned award for some important accomplishment? Or is it when they take the opportunity to pray with you – no matter where they are – or when they help you think through how to handle a tough situation in a Christ-like manner?

The Kendrick brothers write “Love rejoices most in the things that please God. When your mate is growing in Christian character, persevering in faith, seeking purity, and embracing roles of giving and service – becoming spiritually responsible in your home – the Bible says we should be celebrating it.” (p. 167) Are you doing that?

It is the things of God, not the things of earth, which should grab our attention and hold it, so that the demonstrations of the fruit of the Spirit would be evident in our lives.

There is no better way to encourage a fellow brother or sister in Christ than to tell them how you see Christ in their actions. The kindness you show those around you, especially in the midst of trial (on your part), is a beautiful demonstration of how Christians are to care for one another. The fruit of living a Christian life, filled with the Holy Spirit, is evident in so many ways in the walk of one who is clinging to their faith. If we can encourage friends in their Christ-likeness, how much better when we see righteousness displayed in our spouses, family members and friends. That’s the time to let them know how grateful you are for their spiritual investment in your life. And keeping Christ in the equation gives God the glory rather than the person living it out.

Scripture to encourage you in truth:

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:19

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:18

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

Today’s challenge: Think of one example of how someone in your life demonstrated Christian character and thank them for it, encouraging them to persevere in it.

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.