February 16 I Wednesday
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” —1 Corinthians 13:6-7
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, when Paul was describing love, he included an important statement: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Paul was talking about another side of God’s love. While we all prefer the warm, fuzzy and feel-good love from God, we struggle when that love takes the form of discipline.
I have two boys. Even though I love and care for them deeply, it does not mean I am just warm and gushy with them all the time, or that I just express mere sentimentality towards them or that I just say, “Yeah, do whatever you please and whatever you want because daddy loves you.” My love for my children sometimes takes the form of discipline. When they were a little baby reaching out for a hot pot of boiling water on the stove, my love caused me to grab their arm and pull it away. They did not understand why I was pulling it away; they just wanted to grab that pot of water—they just wanted to do what they wanted to do. It was my love that was driven into action to protect them from something that they did not know the consequences of.
If we have wandered to a place, where we are unintentionally or intentionally delighting in evil, love, who delights in what is good, will come and protect us from that evil. Even though discipline is hard to receive, may we see it as God expressing His love towards us. As a parent, I am bringing up my children in the way that they should go, not based on human knowledge or wisdom—because that changes every generation—but on the enduring Word of God that does not change like the shifting sands. God’s discipline is an expression of His love, because it would not be loving for God to just say, “Yeah, do whatever you please.” There is a right and there is a wrong. There is truth and there are lies.
Love in the form of discipline is an aspect to God’s love that challenges us, cuts into our hearts and does not feel good. The author of Hebrews writes, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son” (Hebrews 12:5-6). Although we do not like it at the time, God is doing what is best for us because He loves us and is leading us into a deeper understanding of truth.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for Your love, even when it takes the form of discipline. I am grateful that You guide me away from evil, and set me on Your path of truth. Amen!