Lent Reflection 4
1 Cor 13:4-7 says, love is patient, love in kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always, trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This is the 4th week of Lent, if you have chosen to give up chocolate or certain food and you have managed to do this, then that is brilliant. You have the determination needed to achieve this. For those who have decided to give up negative heart attitudes and have managed this, this too, is brilliant and shows the determination you have for this discipline.
This week we are going to have a look at “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth”. Some definitions of love are: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, endearment. Some definitions of delight are: please greatly, charm, enchant, captivate. Some definitions of evil are: to be profoundly immoral, wicked, bad, morally wrong, sinful, dishonourable, depraved. Some definitions of rejoices are: happiness, pleasure, joy, gladness, delight, jubilation. Some definitions of truth are: truthfulness, sincerity, candour, honesty.
When we look at the meanings behind words, it can help us to understand the meaning better. So with this in mind, when you think about the above scripture and if you add the meanings into it as well, it can help us to understand this passage more fully. In our limited language of English, we use the word ‘love’ in so many different ways, we say we love ice cream, or we love a particular song or film. However, if you substituted the word love for one of the definitions as above, would you find yourself saying, “I have a deep affection for ice cream”, probably not, it just does not seem to sound correct. You might be thinking, where I am going with this? I believe that it is helpful to, sometimes, read the meanings of words in the Bible, because it can help us to understand what was written and how we can apply them to ourselves. With this in mind, let us read the scripture again, substituting each word ie: love, delight, evil and truth with either all or some of the definitions as laid out above, How does this feel for you, do you feel you would be more able to do what the scripture is asking us to do?
If you would like to understand the scriptures more fully, then I would encourage you to say this prayer to our Heavenly Father:
Heavenly Father, as we look at and the read your word and read some definitions for specific words, please would you bring a greater understanding and appreciation for how specific words can bring life and freedom when we apply them to our lives. Where I have misused words to gain control or to manipulate others, please forgive me. With your help Father, please help me to give up my misunderstandings of words in the Bible and that you would bring a greater understanding of your word. Thank you Father that you want us to live in the freedom and knowledge of what your Bible really means. In Jesus’ Name, Amen