Love Rejoices In Truth
by Esther Griffin
Hope Line Assistant, CBN Europe
Love can be costly at times. Even sacrificial. But without it, where would we be? God spared no expense when demonstrating His great love for us through Jesus Christ, so let’s commit to loving others, in good times and in hard times, no matter what.
The Complexities of Love
Love! What a complex emotion! Or is it an action? Or just words that are used to describe our affections for anything from family to chocolate, a sports team to a favourite pair of shoes?
The NIV translation of the bible makes 551 references to love. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul devotes a whole chapter to instructions on how Christians should love. He says we have to do all things in love because without it our actions are null and void.
He outlines the perfect demonstration of love – it is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t self seeking! It is this ‘love’ that we are commanded to show. He ends with saying that “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (13:6). In other words, God’s love seeks the best, the righteous and self sacrificing way. That is the kind of love followers of God need to aspire too.
It’s easy to see this passage as an impossible challenge since we all know that we rarely manage to maintain the elements of love listed here. Yet, this is more than a list of what you should do – it is a reminder of how God loves us and commands us to love others – not in our own strength but in God’s, through His Spirit living in us.
When we show love that earnestly seeks the best for another, that provides acceptance and affirmation to those around us, we echo the reality of God’s love for us.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth”
1 Corinthians 13:6
God is Love
Giving of yourself, whether in time, money, possession, words or action, that another might be strengthened and encouraged, with no expectation of return, is called ‘agape love’ – self sacrificing love. This is the love demonstrated by God for humanity.
God did not create love…He is love. Being open to God’s Spirit opens up the potential for us to show that same love to another, for no apparent reason other than LOVE itself. Love rejoices in truth, love is made known and exemplified when honesty and truth are behind it. When you do acts of kindness, with a true heart to serve, love is there.
The problem is, it is hard to do. Sometimes we are not in the mood to put ourselves out; or people are too difficult and challenging to even like! In these situations, we might not even manage to think about loving in the true sense of Paul’s definition, let alone put it into action. After all, if you’re not feeling it why would you give out?
The answer is because God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 NIV. You see, this IS an impossible task for any of us because we’re imperfect humans. But our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ, is our helper. God is love itself so as long as we’re walking with God, walking in step with his Spirit, we’ll be able to rely on his Spirit to help us genuinely love through our actions.
So make time to spend with God, be filled with the Spirit and when faced with a situation or a person who needs love and you’re not in the mood – do it anyway! Trusting in and relying on the Holy Spirit within you to help and guide you through.
“We love because he first loved us” 1 John 19, so we must love others as he loves us.