Anti-love is at its core egocentric……. Me pursuing MY agenda. Regardless of how anti-love expresses, the undercurrent is driven by self. Love, as expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, is at its core self-less. In fact, self has absolutely nothing to do with the administering of agape love. Nothing.
People who are connected to the Living God love, because God is love. When we love, we are foremost exposing people to love’s Creator rather than to arguably, His greatest characteristic. Find God and you find love along with a treasure load of other eternally valuable things, but make so mistake, God is the end all.
I bowed my head
and worshiped the Lord…
who had led me in the way of truth.
~ Genesis 24:48 ~
Since these two traits are polar opposites, it seems right to look at them side by side. Interestingly, the Greek reveals that rejoice in wrongdoing implies singularity while rejoicing with the truth is a collective response. That I find very interesting.
I’m struck by the jpg of the two hands at the top of the post. I forced myself to look at this pic for a while and imagine her rejoicing in wrongdoing. What might be happening around her? What’s the rest of the story that the lens doesn’t show? She is engrossed. Then I wonder if those could be my own hands.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me.
~ Psalm 139:23-24 ~
As a culture, we are morally de-sensitized. That’s rubbed off on me. That set of “values” shows up clearly in the world of entertainment, that both shapes and reflects society’s desires. Comedy is self-deprecating, or it comes at the expense of other’s weaknesses. It attacks through humor. Action-films are about vengeance. I cheer when the bad guy “gets what’s coming to him.” Romantic movies sell “love” so short, encouraging me to discard every impediment, including my spouse, to get to my soul mate. Maybe God would want to have a conversation with me about re-sensitizing, a chat that would be VERY counter-culture! Am I ready for that?
Do I find myself rejoicing in wrongdoing? Many things would have had to transpire, to go unchecked, unheeded, before I came to the place where I was actually rejoicing… fully given to expressing my joy in wrongdoing. That is why I feel such a strong connect between this passage and Romans 1. When God “gave them over” to their passions, He did so because their behavior revealed their full commitment to sin. Rejoicing in wrongdoing is the culmination and ultimate expression of the passion of self.
How do I swing ’round to the other end of the passion spectrum, so it’s God who is the object of my outstretched, upward raised hands? The struggle between flesh and spirit reveals there will always be some duplicity within me…….because I am yet unfinished. God is constantly offering me invitations where I might bend my knee, lay down SELF and embrace Him, the Lover of My Soul. This is yet again, an altar experience. May God give all of us courage to invite Him into the deepest parts of our inner-person. That’s where what we really believe lives.
There is nothing
upon the earth I desire
~ Psalm 73:25 ~