Let us be honest with ourselves. When something bad happens to someone you do not like or to an enemy, have you ever thought or said, “this person is getting what he or she deserves. I am glad that this has happened?” When you have these kinds of thoughts, you delight in evil.
How about what you choose to watch, read or listen to? Do you watch movies that glorify violence, murder and lying? Do you watch or read things that objectify, romanticize or celebrate sex outside of the relationship between a man and wife? Does the music you listen to have language or lyrics that are questionable? In other words, would you invite Jesus to your movie night, book club or to surf with you on the Internet? Would you play your music for Jesus? The truth is that if you would not invite Jesus to watch or read with you or to listen to your music, you are delighting in evil.
Satan is the father of all lies. He wants to deceive us into believing that what is evil is good and what is true is wrong or irrelevant. Thankfully, we do not have to believe these lies. We do not have to be trapped in deceit, delighting in evil. Those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior know that He is the truth, the way and the life. They know that they can approach God the Father by accepting through faith that Jesus’ death on the cross frees us from sin and death and evil if we choose to follow him in our thoughts, deeds and actions here and now. We can repent of our past and present sins and be blessed by the loving, compassionate grace of our Lord Jesus. We can pray along with the psalmist in the Old Testament, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all of my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51: 1-2). We can pray for our minds and hearts to be renewed so that we rejoice with the truth, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Lent is a good time to examine our hearts and minds and to repent of delighting in evil. Repenting requires changing behavior by stopping former habits and ways of thinking. Rejoicing with the truth requires a commitment to know, love and follow the truth. Thankfully, the Bible, the infallible truth, teaches us how we should orient our hearts and minds, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phillipians 4:8).
Repent: Think about and list some recent times when you have not stood up for truth. How did you not rejoice in truth in those moments, and how do you need to confess this to God?