Tuesday! It’s back again and so are we to talk about love’s aversion to sin. We hope you’ve gathered a sister or two to share your journey with.
We’ve been soaking up the heart of one passage of Scripture for two months now. This leg of our journey moves us into a discussion about evil. Most don’t really want to talk about it, especially when it comes to the evil in our own lives… the lives of ones we love.
It may have been a hard week for you, wrestling with the evil in you and others, trying to work out what love looks like. Keep going sisters! Because when evil bubbles to the surface and God reveals it in our lives, then we can allow God to deal with it.
Love does not delight in evil, but love does love the ones who’ve been deceived by it.
Chaos bubbled to the surface in the form of anger. I felt detached as if I was observing from the outside. It wasn’t my anger, but there have been times I was drawn in. Times when at the end I too was in a fit of rage.
But not this time and it felt weird. I wondered, What’s wrong with me? I absolutely have no emotion tied to this. There were moments I tried to reason, even felt a little anger rise up. When I did I clamped my mouth shut and moved toward love.
In the middle of it all I sat, popped my earbuds in, and caught up on some writing. I could still hear loud voices and as I tried to ignore it I heard Spirit whisper, This is evil.
For me the lesson is when evil gets this close and I feel like I’m being sucked in to it. I don’t have to be. I have the choice to see it for what it is, and refuse to participate. I can be calm and full of peace in the midst of crazy evil.
Evil exists in our world, but it doesn’t have to find a home in our hearts. Loving God and others at times means I can watch it happening, acknowledge it, and move through it learning to trust Him more. Because if He allows it I believe He will use it for my good and for the good of those I love most.
To not delight in evil is one thing, but to hate the lost and blind who’ve been deceived by evil is another.
We all know we live in a dark world. Once we become Believers, we are foreigners passing through enemy territory. It’s when the enemy starts taking ground in the church, creeping in by varying degrees and forms, we become angry and defensive.
Over the last decade, there have been many denominations dividing because man has determined to change God’s definition of sin. I used to think I’d walk right out the church doors if the body politic of the denomination where I worship officially changed their doctrine. Now, I’m not so sure…
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Psalm 37:1-2 ESV
He calls us to resist anger, not get all stirred up over “evildoers,” they will fade away. We are called to trust God in His sovereignty, to live where He’s planted us and be faithful to Him, despite what is going on around us.
My heart began to change regarding “walking out,” the last time I read through the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. Several of the churches were warned by Jesus to repent because of false teaching, lies in the church. Many were delighting in evil. But among the churches was a faithful remnant. Those who stood firm in the faith, regardless of what others said was right.
What I saw, what He revealed was He never once called the faithful out of the broken to go set up their own church somewhere else. He simply encouraged them to stand firm: Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
I’m beginning to wonder, see Him changing my heart, about what it means to love within the church, especially when it has gone far astray. We are called to pity those who’ve been deceived. Love them, not divide from them. Dwell among them as we continue living faithful life when others are not. We are called to be lights in the dark. Not lights in a well-lit room.
Jesus knew there would be weeds among the wheat in His church. He knew wolves would hide among the sheep. But never once did He say, “Go! Start your own flock.” He said, “Go! Make disciples.” In which I hear: Dwell in the land, befriend faithfulness.
I’m still working this out. Still unsure when it comes right down to it what I will do. But… to walk away leaves the dark even darker.
We don’t have to agree with those who are deceived by evil, but we are called to love our enemies. By continuing to faithfully dwell in the dark land as His light, there is hope some of the weeds might be transformed to wheat, the wolves to lambs – or at the very least, we can keep others from being deceived.
We live in a dark world where He calls us to be light and love. We can’t do that isolated from those who are deceived.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.