“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Paul has made it clear that love rejects jealousy, bragging, arrogance, unseemliness, selfishness, anger, resentment, and unrighteousness. It does not bear, believe, hope, or endure lies, false teaching, or anything else that is not of God.
Love Bears All Things
The word (to bear) basically means to cover or to support and therefore to protect. Love bears all things by protecting others from exposure, ridicule, or harm. Genuine love does not gossip or listen to gossip. Even when sin is obvious and certain, love tries to correct it with the least possible hurt and harm to the guilty party. Love never protects sin but is anxious to protect the sinner.
The world takes an opposite view. The world takes pleasure in exposing someone’s faults and failures. Man’s depravity takes pleasure in the depravity of others. It is that depraved pleasure that sells magazines and newspapers that caters to expose the true confessions of others. It is the same sort of pleasure that makes children tell on one another. Whether to feel self-righteous by exposing another’s sin or to enjoy the person suffering the consequences of it, we all are tempted to take a certain kind of pleasure in the sins of others. Love has no part in that.
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).
We can measure our love for a person by how quick we are to cover his faults. Love does not justify sin or compromise with falsehood. Love warns, corrects, exhorts, rebukes, and disciplines. Love does not expose or broadcast failures and wrongs of others. It covers and protects. The mercy seat, where the blood of atonement was sprinkled (Leviticus 16:14), was a covering, not only for the sake of the ark itself but for the sins of the people. The mercy seat was a place of covering. When Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sins on the cross of Calvary, God threw the great mantle of His love over sin, forever covering and cleansing it for those who would trust in His Son. By nature, love is redemptive. It wants to buy back, not condemn, to save, not judge.
True love is even willing to take the consequences of the sin of those it loves. Isaiah wrote of Jesus Christ
“Surely He has borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4,5).
Love Believes All Things
In addition to bearing all things, love also believes all things. If a loved one is accused of something wrong, love will consider him innocent until proven guilty. If he turns out to be guilty, love will give credit for the best motive. Love trusts; love has confidence; love believes. Job’s friends showed few signs of love. They were ready to believe the worst about him, being thoroughly convinced that his problems could only have been caused by his sins. The lovelessness of the scribes and Pharisees is seen in their predisposition to always see the worst in others, including Jesus. When Jesus forgave the paralytic of his sins, the Pharisees immediately concluded He was blaspheming (Luke 5:21).
Love is a harbour of trust. When that trust is broken, love’s first reaction is to heal and restore.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
Love Hopes All Things
Even when belief in a loved one’s goodness or repentance is shattered, love still hopes. When it runs out of faith it holds on to hope. As long as God’s grace is operating, human failure is never final. God would not take Israel’s failure as final. Jesus would not take Peter’s failure as final. Paul would not take the Corinthians’ failure as final.
There are more than enough promises in the Bible to make love hope in all things.
Love Endures All Things
The word (to endure) was a military term used of an army holding a vital position at all costs. Every suffering and every hardship was to be endured in order to hold fast. Love holds fast to those it loves. It endures all things at all costs. It stands against overwhelming opposition and refuses to stop bearing or stop believing or stop hoping.
Love will not stop loving. Love bears what is otherwise unbearable, it believes what otherwise is unbelievable; it hopes in what is otherwise hopeless; and it endures when anything less than love would give up.
Written: John Denman
Acknowledgement: Facts for Faith
Taken from :The Qualities of Love (Student’s Desk)
Photo by: Tom Wells