"Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart Psalm 51: 6"
LISTEN TO:Jesus Culture : "One Thing Remains:"
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
As part of our 2019 resolution to become more Christ-like, we continue our walk through Paul's inspired passage on love. Paul breaks down for us what Love does, just as Jesus models for us in his actions and teachings how love acts and reacts in the world. Today we meditate on love rejoicing in the truth -- not in wrongdoing.
Why is it that that we enjoy putting others down? Someone causes an accident and how many comments respond with condemning and chastising remarks? A colleague of mine was in the middle of a business conflict that managed to be mentioned in the papers. People jumped all over her predicament and the situation like a pack of piranhas. I can remember junior high, and if a kid made a mistake, mispronounced a word, pockets of the classroom would erupt in snickers. Even if we don't speak badly about someone else's problem, inside our hearts we feel relief it's not us, glad our situation improves, even at another's expense, reassured that the individual in trouble is learning their lesson.
Paul tells us that this is not how love behaves. Imagine Paul coming to this realization. In his past, as a zealous Jew, he once persecuted the early followers of Jesus. He ravaged the church. He went house to house, binding believers and dragging them to Jerusalem before the religious court. Paul delighted in the downfall of members of the Way. He believe he was doing the right thing. After his own amazing conversation, he realizes how wrong he was. The worst was feeling self-satisfied in delivering over the followers of Jesus to be killed. Love does not take glory in anyone's downfall, mistakes, or sinful behavior. Love wants the best for everyone, regardless of their relationship to us.
At a recent interfaith Seder we attended, the following well-known midrash was shared about the Exodus, and the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea:
"As the Egyptians started to drown in the Red Sea, the heavenly hosts began to sing praises, but God silenced the angels, saying, "The works of my hands are drowning in the sea, and you wish to sing praises!"
God's Love never takes satisfaction in the pain of an enemy, no matter how much they have hurt us. How else, could Jesus cry out from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" So during Lent, we have the opportunity to examine our selves, catch ourselves getting smug we get ahead of somebody, or somebody we dislike -- even a little -- makes a mistake. Sometimes our reactions are very subtle. When we find ourselves thinking better of ourselves because of what someone else said or did, we need to watch out. We've stepped off the path of love. Love advises that we catch ourselves, and pray for them instead. We help them, if we can. Bottom line is that we stay rooted in the Truth, Jesus, who ate with outcasts and sinners, showing no judgment, but but instead through the power of low led the way to reconciliation, repentance and the fullness of life.
PRAY: "Open my eyes and show me whenever I take satisfaction inapproriately, especially from someone else's mistakes. When this happens, Lord, show me the truth, so I am respond with Love. ""Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart Psalm 51: 6"