Monday, August 25, 2014

No Tabloid Love for Me

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

There is no question that 1st Corinthians 13 is the “Love Chapter” in the New Testament. The chapter ends with these compelling words: And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love!

The King James Version of the Bible uses the word charity. When I was just a young boy, we sang a song about it. It goes like this...

Have faith, hope and charity
That's the way to live successfully
How do I know, the Bible tells me so

Do good to your enemies
And the Blessed Lord you'll surely please
How do I know, the Bible tells me so

Don't worry 'bout tomorrow
Just be real good today
The Lord is right beside you
He'll guide you all the way

Have faith, hope and charity
That's the way to live successfully
How do I know, the Bible tells me so

The point of this eDevotion is not to debate CHARITY VS LOVE. Rather, it is to point out the four ideals—the four essential qualities of love—bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things. Now before you run off thinking that love is a sentimental, wishy-washy, no-backbone-kind-of-a-thing, let me remind you that just before writing those words, Paul wrote that love rejects jealousy, bragging, arrogance, and other things [see 13:4-6]. So the bearing, believing, hoping and enduring must be things that are within the parameter of God’s Word. 

Love bears all things. There’s something protective in that statement. The idea of bearing is to protect or cover. That is the exact meaning of the Greek word stego [pronounced steh’ go], to cover. I think the idea here is to protect from further harm, which is the exact opposite of our tabloid-loving culture. In other words, love seeks to protect, not expose. While love confronts sin, it doesn’t broadcast the failures or wrongs. To quote a recent U.S. President, it “feels your pain,” it empathizes and bears the pain when necessary.

The wise Solomon wrote, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” [Proverbs 10:12]. The apostle Peter agrees, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins” [1 Peter 4:8].

It’s the start of a new week. As Christ followers, let’s put love bearing into practice. Let’s “bear” all things, just as Paul wrote about, and just as Jesus did when He carried the weight of our sins to the cross. 

[Love] bears all things... 1 Corinthians 13:7

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