Today’s Reading: Esther 1-2; Acts 5:1-21
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 1 Corinthians 5:6
A few years ago as I attended a church retreat, I sat at lunch with ladies I did not know. The woman in charge opened with prayer and then introduced an icebreaker to share around the tables. The question was: "What do you think true love is?" Six out of the eight of us at my table said that love is unconditional acceptance. Their definition included the ability to accept people right where they are, no matter what they look like or what they do. The seventh woman said that she thought love was telling people the truth about sin and where sin leads them. I heard the others snicker at her answer. However, according to Paul's statement in First Corinthians 5:6, only one in seven got the right answer.
The Corinthian church was accepting sinful behavior from a church couple and glorying in their ability to do so. Paul is saying that this is not good; this is not love and they should not be proud of themselves for accepting this couple’s behavior. Often we get confused of what love really is when judging others' sins. We do not want to judge others because we ourselves want to be accepted for our imperfections. So we say that acceptance of sin is love. Jesus says in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The truth is that sin destroys. The truth is that the wages of sin is death. If we truly love others, we do not want to see them destroyed by choices that the Bible calls sin. Paul then takes it a step further by saying that the consequences of accepting this sin of sexual immorality will permeate the whole church and will destroy the whole fellowship of believers. Why? Because this acceptance allows people to sin instead of helping them to overcome it. It demonstrates the wrong standards of love, sin and the ways of God.
Our choices and behaviors really do impact others, just as a little bit of leaven makes the whole lump rise. We have to know the Word of God so we can love others according to God's standards. True love speaks out with kindness and compassion, not allowing others to destroy themselves.
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