Saturday, July 6, 2013

Can I Be an Ambassador to My Enemies?

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 6

Photo by Kelsey (Flickr)

The more time we spend on this chapter in the Bible, the more the Holy Spirit convicts me. Verse six reminds me of yet another area I need to work on. 

1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

We can look at this verse in at least two ways that often overlap:

1) not delighting in anything evil (anything not of God)

2) not rejoicing at another’s misfortune or failure.

Matthew Henry wrote about the latter perspective in his commentary:
“It is the very height of malice to take pleasure in the misery of a fellow-creature. And is not falling into sin the greatest calamity that can befall one? How inconsistent is it with Christian charity, to rejoice at such fall!”

This is a very easy trap to fall into. I don’t want to be the kind of person who delights when even a person I’m not crazy about ends up suffering from consequences resulting from his or her past choices. Rather I want make it my goal to be God’s ambassador even to “my enemies.”

You too?  When we hear people talking about someone who has blown it, let’s defend the person being vilified by mentioning that we too have made poor choices. And then let’s invite others to join us in looking for ways to help that person overcome the consequences he or she is experiencing.

In so doing, we’ll be practicing what it means to not delight in evil. Instead, we will be allowing truth (including God’s goodness) to prevail!

Father, forgive me for all the times I have delighted in someone’s misfortune or failure. For now on, I pray You will use me to help bring restoration to those who are suffering from poor choices.

This week’s goal:
Recognize whenever I am enjoying someone’s misfortune. Then stop and repent. And (when possible) find a way to do something good for that person.

What about you?
  • Do you know someone who is suffering consequences from poor choices?

  • What acts of kindness can you offer that person?

Let me know if you would like a copy of any of these verses and what translation you prefer, by using the comment link below. I will email them to you, formatted to fit a standard index card. (Be sure to subscribe to the blog, via email).

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