“(Love) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13.6-7
Of all the amazing chapters in the Bible, this one may spark the greatest controversy or misunderstanding. Why? Because Paul’s description of love speaks of a love that is “unconditional” and we seldom see that modeled, even by Christians.
We become so transfixed on getting what we want out of life that we fail to show to others this unconditional love. Think of what our families would look like if we showed unconditional love to our spouses and children. What does unconditional love mean? Here is a working definition: “No matter what you do to me, I will seek nothing but your highest good.” If we demonstrated this love in our lives daily, our spouses would act differently before us. Our children would wonder what happened to their parents, but they would like the change they see.
Let’s focus for a moment on the positive things love does: (1) Love bears all things; (2) love believes all things; (3) love hopes all things; and (4) love endures all things. Someone asked Dr. Billy Graham how he and his wife had stayed married so long, and his response was: “We forgive a lot.”
What does it mean, “Love bears all things?” There are times when the slightest irritation sets us off and any body in earshot gets an ear full. (You know what I mean.) Consider the fact that YOU are not perfect and don’t hold your spouse or children to a different standard. They are not perfect either.
“Love believes all things.” Can we do with others what God does with us? He always has our best interests in view. Can we … will we do the same for others? We don’t need to kick them when they are down, but rather let’s extend a helping hand that gives them the benefit of the doubt – you know, “Love believes all things.”
“Love hopes all things, (and) endures all things.” When I see people who have given up hope, their countenance is different. They seem to want to “check out” of life. (Stop the world and let me off.) We don’t live long without hope.
Finally, ask yourself, “How is my endurance level working today?” Endurance allows us to work through difficult situations with patience and perseverance.
These four things are a lot to consider today, but I believe we make our lives richer by exercising God’s Word, so let’s start today. Just my thoughts …