Truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)

[love …] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:6

The words in this verse are pretty well rendered, as far as alternative meanings go. The concordance lists a few other ways of understanding the terms, but the gist of what is said remains unaltered.

Love is not happy about; does not condone unrighteous acts. If there is injustice, Love is indignant. If there is falsehood, Love cannot abide it. The simple fact of the matter is that God hates sin. He has never once hated a sinner — He did, after all, die on a cross to save sinners — but He has a deep and abiding hatred of sin and all unrighteous actions. And why not? Unrighteousness; sin drives a wedge between God and people; fixes a chasm that God’s righteousness and holiness and justice will not allow Him to cross. But the Cross of Christ bridges that divide. This leaves me to ask whether or not I am countenancing certain sins. It may very well be that I esteem one sin “less sinful” than others, when the truth of the matter is that all sin; any sin will separate people from the God Who Loves them.

Love does, however, approve truth enthusiastically. And the truth is that we are each of us sinners in need of God’s salvation. I know that we do not want to hear this truth. We would much prefer to be told that we are just fine as we are. But that is not the truth. We would prefer to hear that God condones our unrighteous deeds, but that is simply not true. I would be relieved to hear that God did not really condemn the sins that I find difficult to purge from my life; to learn that the commandments against the things I cannot yet seem to get right were never really commandments so much as guidelines. Again, this is not true. The sins against which I strive are just as sinful today as they were yesterday and they will be just as sinful tomorrow. This leaves me to ask whether or not I approve of things which God emphatically does not.

If I am to be conformed to the likeness of Christ, then I must not countenance unrighteousness. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible included the line “We cannot blink it any longer.” I cannot pretend that unrighteousness — in me or anyone else — is anything less than an affront to God’s holiness. Likewise, I should be delighted to hear the truth. And, this I find to be my reality. While I sometimes find the truth painful, I delight to hear it. As far as the other … I have a great deal of work to do.

Father, please increase my delight in Your Truth and my repulsion for unrighteousness. Let me be affected by the wrong in me as You are, that I might want to purge it from me as much as You do.

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