Love Does Not Delight in Evil but Rejoices in Truth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 30, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“Love does not delight in Evil; but rejoices with the Truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6, NIV)
“…does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6, NKJV)

This one is much harder to truly grasp today than most would think. It is common sense, yet in our post-modern world what evil and truth are have almost completely been switched. Who in their right mind would rejoice in evil? That’s a very good question, but all it takes is to look at the news headlines to see that there is much rejoicing in evil today and much hatred of truth.

Twenty years ago, it was unfathomable that homosexuality would be embraced publicly, and to speak against it would be met with such opposition. Many are still alive today who remember when it was a crime to kill a baby in the womb, yet today more than ever before there is praise for doing it. I still remember the time that women who had an abortion were ashamed and broken because of it, and now we are seeing them boasting about how many they’ve had. And now it is considered ‘love’ to have sex with whom you want, when you want, how often you want, and don’t dare bring up the consequences for such action. In 1962, right when God was removed from the public square, there were only two known sexually-transmitted diseases. Today, there are over 60 and we have the government trying to enforce vaccines against some of them, even without parental permission for our young girls, instead of recognizing that if the girl stayed pure and the guy stayed pure through marriage there is a complete and total of ZERO percent chance of getting it. Today, there is much delight in evil.

But that’s the ever-increasing pagan world. What about us? Do we delight in evil? I would dare say many of us do far more so than we think. I know that because I see some of it in me. Where? How? The answer is easily found in our prayer life. I’ll never forget when David Wilkerson rebuked many who would rather see certain people dead than saved. While I deal with many frustrating God-haters (including some who claim to be Christians) and while I drive on our highways, many times I’d rather not deal with them than to seek and pray for their salvation. They only do what they do because they are lost and deceived.

Why do we seek the ill of those we don’t like? It is one thing to cry out for justice and ask for God to repay the evil they are doing. David frequently poured his heart out to God on those issues in the Psalms, yet David would not take any action upon himself to demand justice for himself. It is something else to want to go up to someone and slap them silly for doing something you didn’t like.

I want to make something very clear here. The kind of love we need for this task is something we cannot muster up on our own. It can only be given. It must be practiced, but it cannot nor will not be found within our own natural abilities. It’s much harder to conjure up when you know the truth and the other person does not want it. It must be given to us by God and it usually only begins to manifest in our lives when we embrace that love from God upon ourselves.

Love does not rejoice in anything evil nor does it seek the fall of those around us. It does, however, rejoice in truth. When judgment and truth prevail, that is a time to rejoice. When truth wins out, love celebrates. But even in the downfall of the wicked, love still seeks mercy. The person who best illustrates this aspect of love is Richard Wurmbrand, most famous for his book Tortured for Christ and the ministry The Voice of the Martyrs which he started.

Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in Communist Romanian prisons where he was repeatedly beaten and tortured. He could not wear shoes because his feet had been brutalized so much. Yet when the Communists were overthrown, Wurmbrand pleaded with the people to grant the Communist dictator mercy, despite being the one who completely destroyed the country. He rejoiced that evil had been defeated, but he did not delight in the revenge sought by the people.

Love seeks the repentant heart. Luke 15 contains three parables where Jesus describes how there will be greater rejoicing over one sinner who repents and is saved than there are those who never left or were lost. This does not diminish the reward of those who stay loyal and follow God without wavering, but we see a glimpse of God’s heart on how he longs for and seeks to save those who are lost. Quite often the greatest men God has used were once in the pit of sin, regardless of whether they were “in the gutter” or not. Love seeks after those who are lost and does not relent until they have been won.

Love does not play a role in supporting, assisting, or enjoying evil. It does not participate in coarse joking, telling them or laughing with them. It does not go “partying” with the world, take drugs, drink, nor talk or act like the world as it does its evil deeds. It does not plot ill-will towards any other, no matter how tempting it is.

Love instead draws the line between good and bad, true and falsehood, the clean and the unclean, and the holy and the unholy. It draws the line but always beckons those on the wrong side of it to come over. Love knows that judgment is going to come to that side and it constantly pleads for those in sin to repent and escape the judgment that is coming. It is not a threat in that if people do not turn from their sin God is going to wipe them out; it’s a promise. Every one of us is doomed apart from receiving the grace of God. Love is what God shows in offering us mercy because he has no obligation to give it to us.

Let us operate in true, Biblical love. So far we have seen the importance of love in all we do, that love is patient and kind; that it does not envy nor boast; that it is not rude nor self-seeking; that it is not easily angered, nor keeps records of wrong; and that it does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. In December, I will cover the good actions that love does. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and then above all it never fails. Then I will wrap up 2018 with how love is to be the greatest of all the gifts of God including faith and hope. Stay tuned.

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