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2014_07_14 L2L_Wrongdoing

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; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
{1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV, emphasis added}

When I first sat down to meditate on rejoicing in wrongdoing, I was completely baffled. I could not think of a single instance where this could be a common occurrence. The closest thing I could come up with was the concept that it is better that a child experience minor negative consequences while still living at home with their parents than to be enabled as a child and experience huge negative consequences for the first time when they are out on their own in the world. While I totally agree with that philosophy, there are times where parents can rejoice a bit too much in the fact that the child finally hit a consequence they can feel, myself included.

This is truly one of those examples of how important it is to study the meanings of the words being used in the Word in the original language, in modern language, and, if you use and older translation such a KJV, in the language of the time in which it was written. When I began digging in to those definitions, I saw this phrase in a whole different light!

What does the Word mean when it says “rejoice at wrongdoing”?

According to Thayer’s, the Greek word rendered as rejoice here means “to rejoice, be glad; to be well, thrive” and the Greek word rendered as wrongdoing here means “injustice, of a judge; unrighteousness of heart and life; a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness”.
Webster’s defines rejoice as “to feel joy or great delight” and wrongdoings as “evil or improper behavior or action”.

You see love cannot thrive and be well in the midst of unrighteousness and evil behavior! In light of the fact that God is Love {1 John 4:8b} this makes perfect sense. In order for you to thrive in a relationship with your children, or anyone else for that matter, there must be an absence of evil and unrighteous behavior.

How wrongdoing thwarts growth

When you are constantly dealing with negative behavior, be it yours, your child’s, or someone else’s, it leaves very little time and energy for anything else. It simply drains the life out a relationship! It is important to note here that we are not talking about the occasional slip up or wrongdoing that comes along with growing and learning in life. That is simply called being human and in need of the Father’s guiding hand and grace. We are talking about consistent wrongdoing that spans over time.

It, in effect, takes you off the path to the promise and leaves you circling that mountain in the desert {Deuteronomy 2:3}, turning your relationships into hamster wheel of emotions. This is not a good place to be in any relationship, but especially not so in the relationship between a parent and child as this is a life bond. Therefore, extra care needs to be placed on combating wrongdoing in that relationship.

What can you do to combat wrongdoing?

Weeding out wrongdoings is a twofold process that takes diligence and perseverance. The process itself is not that difficult. It is the sticking with it and not growing weary while doing good {Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13} that presents the challenge in most cases.

1. View all actions through the Light of the Word. In each and every moment and each and every way it is our duty to consistently evaluate our behavior, beliefs, and spirits using the Word as our guide. We are also called to do this with our children. And while we are not to judge others, we can use this same evaluation to be careful about who we allow to dwell in our intimate circles.

2. Teach and practice diligently.  We are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:7 to diligently teach our children the commands and ways of HaShem. In order to do that however, we have to know them and live them ourselves. Therefor this all begins with teaching yourself to live according to His Word and righteousness, then doing the same with your children.

This process is a constant give and take as what we find wrong in our children often reflects what is wrong in ourselves. We have to be open to that realization and be open to that rebuke in order for our ability to love and thrive in that love to grow strong. It also requires that we stick with the discipline that we put forth for our children until the skill is learned, being open to trying new methods along the way.

I pray you that kind of discernment, openness, and perseverance beloved! Shalom!~

Surrendered to Him~
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{Be sure to check out the entire #Learning2Love series!}

How do you combat wrongdoing?

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