1Evil: morally wrong or bad; the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
2Truth: a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.
… Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth… (1 Corinthians 13:6)
What do you want? Your heart’s desire, what is it? Now consider, what does God want for you? Are they the same? Is it the truth?
Throughout this year, we have been examining what Love Is… We have looked at what it is, and what it is not. We have discovered how it is shown. Ultimately, however, God is Love. Everything we know about love is because God is revealed through love. What has been shown this year? God is patient. God is kind. God does not envy. God does not boast. God is not proud. God does not dishonor others. God is not self-seeking. God is not easily angered. God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
So what is evil? There are many ways to answer this question. A complete answer requires an in-depth study of God’s word, which is the Truth. To simplify today’s study, we are going to use this definition: Evil is deliberately preferring anything over God.
Let’s go back and look at what God instructed the Israelites when they first came out of Egypt. In the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), God told the Israelites “Do not covet” and “Have no other gods before me.” To covet something means to desire something you do not have, to prefer something you do not have over God. When we have no other gods except the Lord God, we worship no one or nothing except the Lord God. We have no preference greater than God. God should be our only desire, our only want.
God is not delighted when we choose anything over Him. We know this from Jeremiah 2:13, “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (ESV) The Israelites abandoned the Lord God, preferring instead broken cisterns. In this case, the Israelites were relying upon human rulers who worshipped false gods to save them from their enemies. Human rulers, who would eventually turn away and betray them.
Who do you rely upon today? This past year and a half has been tumultuous. It has been filled with uncertainty, doubt, and fear. Divisions have been drawn between which doctors and government officials should be listened to, which should be trusted. Even now, the divisions continue and are getting worse. In who, or what, have you placed your trust? Your faith? Are you relying upon scientists, doctors, and the government to get you through these difficult times, just as the Israelites relied upon foreign governments? Instead fix your eyes upon the Lord, depend upon Him, for He is the Truth.
What is the truth? Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6, NIV)
When we seek the truth, we seek to be like God. We seek knowledge and understanding of Him. We seek to know Him, intimately. When we seek to be like God, all the attributes of love shine through our actions to everyone we meet. But let’s be real, being like God is hard work! In fact, it is impossible! But that does not mean we should stop trying. Continuing to strive to be like the Lord is showing our love to God.
Relationships are hard work! Ask anyone who is married! Ask anyone who has been in a serious relationship! Relationships are hard work! Your relationship with God is no different! A relationship with God requires us to continually learn about Him, and understand the Truth that He has revealed to us in His word.
We form relationships with everyone whom we encounter. Everyone! Sometimes the relationships last just a few seconds, but what impression do you leave them with? Did you smile and say thank you to the harried, overworked clerk? You may have just made their day. Showing love through such a simple action is seeking to be like God.
When we seek to be like God, we rejoice in truth and shun evil! The world we live in is a world of sin, a world of evil. We often do not even need to step outside our homes to encounter this evil. We can bring it into our homes through the television shows and movies we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read. Carefully consider what you bring into your home, your life. Is it evil?
Do you seek to be like God? To show love to everyone? Do you shun evil? Do you rejoice in the truth?
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily anger, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth…
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