This command follows 1 Corinthians 13 – often referred to as “the love chapter” – which portrays the essence of love. Love can mean different things depending on who uses the word and the context in which it’s used. So, the apostle Paul gives us a biblical understanding of love.
Rather than an uncontrollable emotion, Paul describes love as a selfless action. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Regardless of faith or background, almost everyone agrees with this beautiful depiction of love.
The sticky point comes in the next verse: “[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
Our culture thinks it’s unloving to say something is wrong. Yet, people will never know that Jesus came to save sinners like you and me, unless we are deeply saddened by wrongdoing. Unless we rejoice with the truth, the world will never know that truth exists.
You see, truth, by definition, is exclusive. If one thing is true – actual reality or fact – then any divergent thing is false or wrong.
Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6) and he came to testify to the truth (John 18:37). Jesus spoke truth in a way that was patient and kind, not arrogant or rude. And he calls us to do the same.
“Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).
Holy God, help me to understand love the way you define it. Teach me to hate evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). Make me patient, kind, humble, and gentle, and at the same time unafraid to speak truth.
Throughout This Day: Ask God to direct you to people who have yet to hear about the amazing truth of God’s grace, mercy, and love towards us.
Song of Reflection: "Good and Gracious King" by CityAlight When relevant, we’ll include a song that can help you reflect further on today’s subject. If you have song recommendations that are relevant to today’s passage or devotional, feel free to send them to us!
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