Love Bears All Things, Believes All Things

It is easy to see that love is a gift from God. For us, on our own, we couldn’t do all these godly qualities of love. After Paul gives us the negative verbs of love, he’s right back to finish up with some positive things. Paul says that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. We will take two today and two tomorrow.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8…

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Love bears all thingsBears στέγω stégō (steg’-o) (stego from stege = a thatch or roof or covering of a building) derives its first meaning from stege and thus means to cover closely, to protect by covering and then, to conceal and then, by covering, to bear up under. To keep secret, to hide, conceal. Thayer.

What this means is love hides and conceals the faults of others. Love wants to protect them from harm, even if you have to suffer for it, remembering how the Lord’s love suffered for us. The Lord knows our thoughts and what’s in our hearts and if we are believers they are covered over by His love, the love that shed His blood that covers over our sin.

Love covers unworthy things rather than bringing them to the light and magnifying them. It puts up with everything. It is always eager to believe the best and to “put the most favorable construction on ambiguous actions.

F. F. Bruce, 1 and 2 Corinthians

Love believes all things, it refuses to be suspicious and doubtful about a brother or sister, love is ready to hear them out, love is ready to listen first. When you love, you always keep faith in them, even when they fall. Love picks them up, love builds them up. Love restores them…

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 [Emphasis Mine]

Believes πιστεύω pisteúō(pist-yoo’-o) (pisteuo from pistis = faith, trust, belief) Love believes all things, implies that love sees the best in others or gives the other person the benefit of the doubt, love chooses to believe the best about them, not the worst!

Paul isn’t saying we should lack discernment or lack wisdom, just that we should believe until we have to make the right judgment.

Paul writes in Philippians 1…

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, Philippians 1:9

This characteristic has a twofold aspect. (i) In relation to God it means that love takes God at his word, and can take every promise which begins “Whosoever” and say, “That means me.” (ii) In relation to our fellow men it means that love always believes the best about other people.

Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series.

Love Bears All Things!
Love Believes All Things!

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