[Charity/Love] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
The enduring aspect of love published week of February 14, 2021
When looking at Paul’s description of the fruit of love (charity in action) in 1 Corinthians 13, almost all of the attributes (13 out of 15) seem to fit into two categories: love is enduring and love is humble. Consider for a few moments the characteristic of endurance that Paul writes about:
Love is patient (long suffering)
Love bears all things (to cover over and protect, to preserve)
Love believes all things (to credit or place confidence in)
Love hopes all things (to trust in with joy and full confidence)
Love endures all things (remains, doesn’t recede or flee)
If you were to ask people how they would describe love, I imagine very few would use the word endurance. Often, we tend to think of love as soft, squishy and silky. However, Paul describes just the opposite. Love is not merely passive but is active. Love is a deliberate choice we make; therefore it takes effort to love well. Even for the child of God, Christ-like love does not just happen because you are a Christian, rather it must be cultivated and learned.
As the Body of Christ, are we being mastered by love? Remember, 1 Corinthians 13 is part of a letter Paul was writing to the struggling church in Corinth. The Corinthians were not acting in love. They were boasting in men (3:21). They were prideful even in sin (5:1-2). They were unwilling to bear all things and were taking each other to court (6:1-8). They were insisting on their own way and causing others to stumble (8:11-12). They were jealous as they compared their spiritual gifts (12:21-22). Paul wasn’t merely defining love, he was applying love to the messed-up Corinthian church. He was saying, “This is not how love acts or feels.”
When it comes to the enduring quality of love, a certain level of pain can be expected. That fact is clearly implied by as Paul states that love suffers long, love bears up, and love endures through. Don't be discouraged by this fact, rather be encouraged as this is a comforting truth. Think about it: if just a few people or if hundreds of people are in a relationship, there will be hurt at some point. This is why love must endure, believe and hope. Marriages will struggle, friendships will be tested, and those you love will disappoint you. With these realities, love should deepen and not diminish if we allow God to work in and through us in our relationships.
"Dear Father, I desire to be enduring in my love to others. Help me not to be easily offended, but to be willing to overlook a wrong. Thank You God for your enduring love to me even when I fail You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen."