“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
If we think of evil as dark and truth as light, then the picture of this concept becomes clearer. We know that Satan is “the evil one” and we know he represents darkness, death and destruction, whereas Jesus represents light and life and truth because He said it Himself in John 14:6. Now lest you think that this should be easy to do, that is to rejoice in the truth, then read on. Our Pastor’s wife is fond of saying that the truth will set you free, but first it will make you mad. That is a very appropriate statement
If we examine this concept closely we will probably see that “rejoicing with the truth” when it applies to others might be a bit easier to swallow than when the light of truth shines on our own sins and failures. God’s Word calls us to admonish one another.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
Sometimes we face hard choices and harsh realities as we seek to live for God. Ezekiel 33:6 says, “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.” That is a serious responsibility, for us and for others. If we love someone, really love them, don’t we owe them the truth? If we see them in sin, and by this I mean serious sin that puts them is harm’s way, that puts them on the path to an ETERNITY separated from God, not some minor thing that is more about our own convictions and opinions than anything else, isn’t it our responsibility to lovingly speak the truth?
It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Often our own self-interest keeps us from speaking the truth. We are afraid of others’ reactions. They might get mad at us or think and say some unflattering things about us. Our reputations might be damaged! God forbid that we should suffer for the truth!!! And worse still, sometimes we have to suffer for the truth about us! It is the duty, given by God Himself, of our brothers and sisters in Christ to call us out when we are in sin. It is their duty as God’s watchman over us, as we all are for each other, to “blow the trumpet” when they see the enemy coming so that we might save ourselves. But as I said, the truth is not so easy to face when we are looking in the mirror at ourselves. After all, who wants to think she is a “sinner”, something less than an honorable, upright person? Not me. However, a few years ago I took a great fall into sin and, as is usually the case, that thing, that incident, was not birthed in isolation, an entity to itself, but simply the result of YEARS of going the wrong way, yet thinking I was a pretty good person.
Now the hardest part was not confessing my transgression once I could conceal it no longer, although that was hard enough, the hardest part was acknowledging to myself the depth of my depravity. God showed me that, although I had considered myself “pretty good” and my wrong actions “not so bad”, I was, from the foundation on which I had built my life very early, if not from the beginning, a liar and willfully disobedient. This was the truth that set me free, but first it made me not mad, but sad. To have to look at myself in the mirror and own up to that and all that came with it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, but in the end I did rejoice because once I was willing face my sin, I could begin to change my life for the better. And the best part? God forgave me — right away.
Yours in love and in Christ,
(To access the entire “Lessons in Love From 1 Corinthians 13” mini-series, please click here.)