Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. —1 Corinthians 13:6 NIV
I’m so very glad this particular verse is included in the “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13). Love does not “put up” with everything, you see. No matter how dearly we might love another person, we are never to call that which is evil “good” for any reason. Isaiah says it this way, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20 NIV). This can be tempting, right? It can be very hard to go against a loved one when they are embracing what we know is wrong. But here’s the lesson: Real love chooses truth, every time, over the easier path of ignoring or delighting in evil. What does this mean, practically?
- When we hear vicious gossip, we refuse it. We gently turn the subject or suggest that we talk about something else—or we walk away. Love does not delight in tearing down another human being.
- When people speak without compassion for the poor, the refugee, various people groups, or the unborn, we do not keep silent. We share the reasons for our disagreement with gentle conviction, either then or later when we can be heard. Love does not delight in the disregard for human life and dignity.
- When we're invited to watch a movie or a TV show that is abusive to women or is outright pornographic or just shy of it, we don’t join in. Love does not delight in nor promote using evil for “entertainment.”
- When we’re tempted to cheat on our income tax, ignore speed limits, keep the extra item in our shopping cart that was missed … we don’t. We rejoice in truth. We live with integrity in all we do, and so we write the full amount on our taxes, we set our speed control to the right speed, and we walk back into the store to pay when we discover the unpaid-for item. Love does not delight in cheating or breaking the law.
Love, quite simply, loves doing right.
Love is not weak. Love wants the very best for others. Love wants truth and justice and righteousness to flourish. Love does not contribute to the darkness. Love rejoices in the light. This is hard. It’s awkward to stop someone from speaking ill of another. As a Christian, it’s scary to share how we perceive good and evil. We’re never to lose sight of the need to communicate hard things with kindness and patience and respect. So … losing our temper and shouting is also not the correct response! Love is not complicit in allowing evil.
Oh, righteous, good God, forgive us when we bow to peer pressure. Forgive us when we act like we agree with people when we don’t. Show us, Lord, the best way to “rejoice with the truth” and not “delight in evil.” Step by step, conversation by conversation, help us speak truth in love. Oh, how we need You! Oh, how we thank You for giving us Your standards whereby we can know what is right and what is not. Help us to always share with compassion and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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