Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (NIV)
What is it about leaving the light on for kids at bedtime? It’s all right to turn off the light in the bedroom, but the hall light needs to stay on. At least, for many children that’s how it is. It was for me when I was young(er).
Is it the fact that the hall light allows them to see what’s going on in the bedroom? Is it a case of not wanting to be abandoned in a darkened room where there’s no evidence that there is anyone else in the world? Is it a concern to know where to go if they need help?
Whatever the reason (or reasons) for any particular child, the light in the hall is a comfort at bedtime.
I’ve been wondering why love does not delight in evil. Evil doesn’t affect love itself, because God loves sinful people like you and me despite the fact that we sin. I know it’s not a matter of taste. Love doesn’t just happen to prefer good and those things that are godly. I think the hall light and the bedroom might provide an answer.
We, the children in the bed, want the comfort of God’s love, the light from the hall. But evil, whether ours or someone else’s, closes the bedroom door bit by bit, gradually blocking the light of God’s love from our lives. Not only that, but evil, ours and others’, prevents us from receiving love from those around us.
The light does not change. It is still shining with the same intensity. But the effect of that light on our lives is diminished and blotted out.
Love does not delight in evil because it hinders the reception of love, causing us to live like scared children in a bedroom without light.
God, in his love, has taken the door off its hinges by the death of Jesus. Through his resurrection, Jesus has provided the Holy Spirit as a Comforter who brings the light of God’s love into our bedroom and deals with our fears about what is in the bedroom. Nor do we need to wonder whether we are abandoned – he is the help that we do not need to go anywhere to find.
Let’s take love’s perspective. Let’s be saddened rather than delighted when we see evil preventing love from reaching others. Degrading jokes, cheating, pride, envy, adultery, laziness – all these and more are things that hinder love’s expression…from God to those who indulge in these things, and from others to those they sin against. Let’s learn to see things from love’s perspective and not delight in evil.
Praise the Father and Jesus for dealing with the evil that blocked His love from getting through to you. Think about the negative results different sins have on the expression of love. Ask God for a heart attitude toward evil that is in line with his.