It Does Not Delight in Evil

It is our last morning at the cottage

We are leaving after work today

The cottage sending us off with a glorious day

The sun warm on my back

The wind cool on my skin

Sunlight sparking off the water

The neighbor’s flag flying proudly from his dock

Jonathan took me for a boat ride last night

Oh the freedom!

 “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

– I Corinthians 13:6

This part gets its very own verse

But I often skip over it

Who delights in evil?

It sounds like something

The villain in a horror movie would do

So I sit with this Scripture

And ask the Lord to help me understand it

Then I notice

The juxtaposition here

The comparison

Isn’t between good and evil

Or the truth and lies

But between evil and truth

The opposite of evil is truth

Truth IS good

And lies

Even the ones we tell ourselves

Are evil

God’s Word is truth

It is the one source I can trust

An unmoving dock

In the midst of constantly moving water

My own experiences and thoughts

The cacophony of the world

All that noise

Is not truth

God’s Word is truth

It is interesting how the world says

Feelings are truth

Your own personal experience

“Listen to your heart”

Only our hearts are prone to evil

Lying to us

“The heart is deceitful above all things

    and beyond cure.

    Who can understand it?”

– Jeremiah 17:9

When we listen to our hearts

We are merely bobbing in the water

Adrift on a sinking raft

Subject to the winds of circumstance

And the frantic paddling of our own changeable emotions

We might paddle one way today

And another way tomorrow

But we aren’t anchored

God’s Word

Like the dock on which I sit

Is anchored

Secure

I can tie myself to it

So even when I float to the right or the left

Moved by emotion or circumstance

I am never far from it

You don’t have to look far

To see the evil that comes

From an unmoored heart

A rejection of truth

I have seen such evil up close

Women who celebrate abortions

And have divorce parties

Men who justify leaving their wives and children

Youths who embrace the world’s twisted thinking

Children who hate their parents

But this is sin without

What about the sin within?

Do I ever delight in evil?

I think again of cynicism

The reason I started this journey through I Corinthians 13

Years of experiences in the church

And in Christian organizations

Have made me distrustful of other believers

Better to assume the worst

Than be constantly disappointed

But a Christian should be known for their joy

The joy of the Lord is our strength

Cynicism a poor substitute

I delight in evil

Whenever I reject the truth

When I believe the whispers of the enemy

Saying no one changes

Aren’t I really saying Satan is more powerful than God?

When I say I am too busy for a quiet time today

Aren’t I really saying my agenda is more important than His?

When I choose to interpret the words or actions of my sister

In the worst possible light

Aren’t I really refusing to see the work of God in their lives?

When I fail to forgive

Aren’t I really saying my sins aren’t all that bad, not compared to “theirs?”

When I choose to watch that movie or read that book

Rationalizing all the godless scenes away

Aren’t I really saying I know better than God what is good for me?

Like Adam and Eve in the garden

Delighting in evil

Can look as innocent

As taking a bite of an apple

When it is an apple God has forbidden

So what does it look like to rejoice with the truth?

I rejoice with the truth when I believe the promises of God

Over the lies of the enemy

I rejoice with the truth when I set aside my agenda

And spend time in God’s Word

I rejoice with the truth when I see

My sister’s action in the best possible light

Not the worst

I rejoice with the truth when I forgive freely

Because I have been forgiven

I rejoice with the truth when I shut off the voices of the world

And honor my conscience

Lay aside cynicism

Choose love instead

Repent of despair

Choose joy and thankfulness

His mercies are new every morning

Even the hard mornings

Lash yourself to the truth of God’s Word

Don’t let it out of your sight

So you may not delight in evil

But rejoice with the truth

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

– Deuteronomy 6:5-9

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