Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love is all around. I saw it in the dollar store. The checkout line was filled with people purchasing Mylar balloons and tiny heart shaped trinkets. I saw love in the drug store. Folks were browsing through hundreds of cards in multiple shapes and sizes with poems and pictures that expressed “I love you” in just about every way imaginable. And there were boxes of chocolate candy adorned in pretty bows and tiny red roses. I even witnessed love in abundance at the grocery store. There, heart shaped balloons and bouquets of flowers appeared to be the love expression of choice.
My wife asked if I would like a Valentine coffee cup. For only five dollars I could have a big red Cupid coffee cup with a chubby baby in a diaper on the handle.
“I think I’ll pass,” I said.
Then I came home and turned on the TV and there was even more love. I asked my wife if she would like a Jammy-gram. Nothing like a cuddly pair of red pajamas to say, “I love you.” She declined.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know why “love” is getting so much attention. Of course, we’re preparing to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s the one day each year we devote to expressing our love for the special people in our lives.
I have nothing against Valentine’s Day and will do my part to find something to express my love to my family. But I have long believed, if you haven’t taken time to demonstrate love and affection the other 364 days of the year, then there really isn’t any need to waste your time on Valentine’s Day. That brings me back to the theme of yesterday’s Forever Notebook entry, The Behavior of Love. This is Part 4, a continuation of Paul’s instruction on love from 1 Corinthians 13.
Again I encourage you to take each aspect of the behavior of love (Christian love), as described by Paul, and write down your thoughts. Keep in mind that Paul was talking about Christian love as it is expressed to others, not just those closest to you.
Behavior of Love #10 – Love does not delight in evil
We live in a culture that promotes and celebrates evil. Entertainment venues including motion pictures, music, and video games glorify violence. We are titillated by the most salacious news headlines. Twisted and demented news and entertainment sells. The guys in the black hats have become the heroes. Today’s villains are decent people with Christian values. In other words, our world delights in evil. We have forgotten the old principle of looking for the good in others.
In the current political climate, I have a few friends who espouse views diametrically opposed to mine. Quite honestly, their slant on politics gets under my skin. I have to remind myself of the good I know is in them. Christian love looks beyond faults, imperfections, and differing views, and finds the good.
Admonitions on NOT Delighting in Evil
- “Evil and wickedness will have no part in the way that I love you or expect you to love me.”
- “I will do all that I can to honor God with my love for you.”
- “I will express my love for you in godliness and wholesomeness.”
- “The intent of my love for you is completely honorable and righteous.”
- “I will endeavor to always look for the good in you.”
Behavior of Love #11 – Love rejoices with the truth
One of the great joys in life is to see people embrace the truth that is Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” When we know our friends and loved ones are on the right path, surrendered to His truth, and recipients of His eternal life, there is cause for great rejoicing.
As an Alabama Crimson Tide football fan, I prefer home games. The most notable reason for that preference is because the majority of the crowd is rooting for my team. When Alabama wins there is great shared joy. So it is when we gather with others in the faith. There is cause for rejoicing in the truth we all embrace. Even better, we can always be assured that we are on the winning team.
Affirmations on Rejoicing in the Truth
- “I’ll seek to build trust in our relationship based on truth.”
- “I want to express my love for you with honesty, integrity, and purity of heart.”
- “I want our standard of truth to be that of Christ.”
- “I’ll rejoice with you as we grow together in the truth of Christ.”
Behavior of Love #12 – Love Always Protects
I have two grown sons, Sean and Michael. Both have been on their own and away from home for a long time. They are fully capable of taking care of themselves. But that doesn’t stop their mother from getting mad as a hornet when somebody mistreats them or speaks badly of them. That’s what mothers do. They instinctively protect the children they love.
As I have previously noted, Paul’s instruction here is not aimed just at married couples or families. Christian love seeks to protect others.
We protect others by not jumping on the gossip train or fueling the fire of dissent against them. When we see people in need, we reach out to them and do what we can to lighten their burden. We protect, not just from the vicious attacks of people, but from the crushing burdens of life.
Affirmations on Protective Love
- “I will do all I can to be there for you and with you.”
- “I’ll stand by you when the going gets rough.”
- “I will do all that I can to provide for your security and well-being.”
- “I will be your guard and defender.”
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.