Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
11. Love rejoices with the TRUTH
This not only means that we rejoice when someone tells the truth and we uphold honesty and integrity, but it also means that we rejoice when God’s Word as the ultimate standard of truth is upheld and proclaimed. Love cannot tolerate false doctrine.
12. Love BEARS all things
This word “bears” basically means to cover or support or protect. In essence, when you love someone you are willing to protect them from harm or ridicule or the onslaughts of others.
This involves empathy. You are willing to empathize with another to the extent that you walk along side of them, protect them, support them, and seek their ultimate good. You feel others’ pain and you are willing to carry the burden of that pain yourself.
Think about Jesus in this manner. He was willing to totally sympathize with us to the point of extreme pain—the cross.
Read Hebrews 4:15-16
To what lengths are you willing to go in order to truly empathize with someone you love? To bear all things with them?
13. Love BELIEVES all things
In other words, love is not suspicious or cynical or doubting. Love is willing to believe the best about a person. Love is willing to believe a person is innocent until proven guilty. Love gives the benefit of the doubt. Love is willing to take risks even if it means pain or hurt or betrayal. And when someone sins against you, your first impulse is to forgive and restore.
Read Galatians 6:1-3.
14. Love HOPES all things
Love is willing to hold out hope for those who have sinned against us or who have fallen. Love refuses to take failure as final.
Love hopes that the backslidden child, or the unbelieving spouse, or the wayward sinner will eventually repent and be restored.
Read Romans 8:28
15. Love ENDURES all things
This word “endures” was a military term used of an army holding its position at all costs. When we think of true Christian love, we stand with another person against overwhelming opposition and refuse to stop bearing with others, or stop believing or stop hoping. Love will never stop loving.
There is no exhaustion to love. It remains steadfast to the end. It doesn’t give up. It is a constant ongoing activity in our lives and it will be brutal, agonizing, beautiful, joyful, tender, gut wrenching, and powerful.
Read Hebrews 12:2-3
It all comes back to looking at Jesus and what He accomplished and then finding our motivation to endure and love by relying upon the grace that flows from the cross.
Again, what on this list do you struggle with? How do you personally and practically need God’s help?
Father in Heaven,
Thank you for this passage on love! Thank you for clearly showing me what true Christian love looks like. Help me to bear the burdens of others and to believe the best in others and to have the confidence that you will work all things out according to Your will. Help me to pour my life out to others in love as I follow your example of pouring your life out on the cross for me!
In Jesus Name,