Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Part 9 – Love Thinks No Evil, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“….Love thinks no evil.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

What does it mean to think evil? In this world we temporarily dwell in we are surrounded by evil. It’s on the television, in the newspapers and magazines, in the streets—everywhere. It’s so easy for us to get desensitized to what is evil because we see a world full of people accepting and even glorying in evil. So when God says that love doesn’t think evil, what does He mean and how can it be accomplished?

Let’s get back to the language. The Greek word for “think” is “logizomai“, and it can be translated to: “reckon, count, compute, calculate, to take into account, to number among, to consider, weigh, meditate on, to determine, purpose, to decide.” So this word is more about how we weigh something up in our minds. What do I determine about this person or issue? What is their substance? How have I judged or calculated their motives to be? It is actually less about what the subject actually is and more about how we’ve labeled it.

Now the word for “evil” is the Greek word “kakos” and means “of a bad nature, of a mode of thinking, feeling and acting base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, and baneful.”

What’s fascinating about taking this phrase apart is that by understanding the text we get a better idea about the point God is making here. You see it’s not about whether or not a person is evil or has a bad nature. It’s not about whether or not they truly are being troublesome or wicked or if they secretly despise you. It’s not really about them at all. When God said “love thinks no evil”, it’s about me. It’s about how I view people and how I love them. It’s about not being cynical and looking for the worst in people. It’s about not labeling someone as evil, wicked, troublesome or destructive, especially when I don’t know that it’s true.

I think about a juror in a court room. They are presented the facts and are told to make a judgement based on those facts determining whether or not the defendant is guilty. They may be looking at a pile of evidence but it all comes down to how concrete they determine that evidence to be. God is reminding us here that we aren’t the judge and we aren’t in a courtroom. We are supposed to be loving people, not determining how wicked they are or labeling them as evil. Now, there may be evil in their lives. They may be guilty of all of the bad things you suspect. They may be out to get you or they may really be giving you dirty looks behind your back. That’s not the point. The point is how are you going to think on that person. You can choose to think no evil by taking those thoughts captive. You can choose to love people, whether or not they love you. If we really want to be effective in leading others to Christ, we need to show them this kind of love.

I think about a time when a young man came to our old church for a while. The church was something of a legalistic church, and the people weren’t very graceful to say the least. Regardless, I remember this young man entered the church and he was wearing torn up, un-matching clothes, dog chains and a bright green mohawk. He had several tattoos and piercings. The young man attended the church for a while off and on. I’ll never forget when one of the ladies from the church (in her sunday best looking prim and proper) walked up the young man and said she had to confess to him that she had secretly been judging him by the way he looked ever since he started attending.

For one thing, I couldn’t believe this woman’s discernment that the best way to deal with HER inward sin was to confess it to the person who didn’t even know how much she had been despising him. She unburdened herself at his expense when she could have simply confessed and repented to the Lord and spared him the embarrassment. Still, this woman’s heart was to think evil. She had judged him. She had labeled him. She had determined he was wicked and evil. And even when she did confess of this sin, her unloving attitude had driven the young man away from God and not to Him. How sad. Let us not be this kind of person. Let us love people and think no evil.

God says we can take every thought captive that goes against His Word. He also says in Philippians 4 that we are to think on what is true and of good report. We aren’t to go passing judgements or labeling or determining the heart of another person. We aren’t called to do that. We are called to love. Love.

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Part 8 – Love is not Easily Provoked, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love is not easily provoked.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

I have found that there are times in my life when exhibiting the love of God—His way—means going against my very nature. See I’m a sinner. I’m selfish my nature. In my selfishness, I tend to be impatient and ungraceful. I tend to be easily provoked to anger when things do not go my way or when people (even the little ones) do not do as I ask, exactly how I asked and at the very moment I asked.

Excellent recent example. Last night I was holding my three year-old daughter and she was munching on some candy. It was “Nerds” candy, which are like tiny colorful pebbles. She kept shaking the box and I told her that she would likely spill them if she continued to shake the box. So she stopped. Wait…no….that’s not how it went! Of course my strong-willed little girl didn’t stop. She continued to shake the box and suddenly sent the candy flying all over me! If I was a cartoon character you would have seen my eyes turn red and smoke come out of my ears. I sharply rebuked her for not listening and making a mess.

After some kind words of encouragement from my own mother (who had seen the whole thing), I realized I had over-reacted. I had been easily provoked to anger. My daughter had not understood the consequences of what she was doing. I had not given her a direct order to stop shaking the box, but rather suggested it was a bad idea. She didn’t listen. Instead she continued to learn how her bad judgement had caused the candy to be sucked up the vacuum instead of her mouth! Love is not easily provoked.

How often do we do this very thing to God. We go against the Spirit’s conviction in our hearts to do something we know isn’t good for us. Sometimes God has said no. Sometimes He’s just said it isn’t a good idea. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t. The good news is, when we don’t listen and we follow our own desires or way of thinking rather than God’s, and we stumble and fall, God is not quick to anger. He is not easily provoked. When we mess up and sin and come running to Him for forgiveness, He doesn’t shout out us or give us the cold shoulder. He is not easily provoked. His love is longsuffering and patient.

I long to be a mother and wife who is not easily provoked. I pray that God will chip away that quick temper that is part of my nature. I hope one day to be the kind of woman that people look at and wonder, “does she ever get angry?” hehe It won’t be soon but maybe someday with the help of the Holy Spirit!

God’s love is not easily provoked. Are you easily provoked to anger or wrath? Do you have patience and grace for people? Are you slow to anger and quick to forgive? We all need to pray for God to perfect His love in us so that we can pour that love out on our family, our friends, our church family and the lost. May His love be ever in our hearts and on our tongues!

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