Summary: Loving people means you never give up on them.
When I was a kid, a lot of things came very easily to me. I was naturally coordinated, and so sports were always fun and easy for me. School also came easily to me, and I enjoyed it.
But because many things came easily to me I would often have problems when something didn’t “click” really fast. If I had to work at something, too often I’d just get really frustrated and quit.
This happened when my Mom tried to teach me piano lessons. I did OK at first, but when I needed to do different things with both hands, I quit. It also happened with trumpet. In 5th grade I decided I wanted to play the trumpet – but after about 2 months I quit – it just took too much effort and practice and was just too hard!
When it comes to loving people we all know that sometimes it is very easy – and sometimes it is difficult. As we close out this series on 1 Corinthians 13 called “Nothing Beats Love”, we’re going to take a look at the final descriptions of love that Paul gives in verses 7 and 8.
We’ve already learned that:
• Love is patient, love is kind.
• It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
• It is not rude, it is not self seeking.
• It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
• Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Today we pick it up at verse 7 in 1 Cor. 13:
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Here Paul tells us, Godly love for other people NEVER GIVES UP. It might get hard – in fact it probably will, but love NEVER GIVES UP. Let’s take a look at these final descriptions of love one at a time.
Love always protects (bears all things).
7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes… (Amplified Bible)
The word “protect” comes from the same word that speaks of putting a roof over something. Love “covers” another person so that they are protected and safe from harm.
Stand up for others.
This is exactly what Jesus does for us.
Rev. 12:10 ¶ Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
When Satan comes before God and accuses us of wrongdoing, of unfaithfulness, and deliberate sin, Jesus, our high priest, reminds Satan that those wrongs, those sins, have already been paid for. He reminds Satan that those he is accusing have already been adopted into God’s family – and he covers us.
ILLUS: I recently had this type of love well up in me at the strangest of places: a teacher conference. As I sat listening to a teacher describing one of my children in not-so-positive terms, something welled up within me. I got very protective – and probably even too much so – but I knew that the teacher did not know my child the way I did, and I needed to convince her to suspend judgement on my child and help her to see my child in a different light.
I think that is a bit of what is meant when Paul says that love always protects.
Love always trusts (believes all things).
[Love] is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
Assume the best about people.
In the legal system of our country we have a foundational principle that someone is considered innocent until proven guilty. Just because the news puts someone’s face up on the screen and says they were indicted for a crime doesn’t mean they did it!
But what about when someone you are close to appears to have done something wrong, something that might even possibly harm your relationship. What is your first reaction? What is the loving reaction? The loving reaction is to assume the best about them. To assume that you just don’t have all the info. To give them a chance to explain their actions before rushing to a judgment.
When you love someone, you give them the benefit of the doubt – but there is something that has bothered me about this phrase “love always trusts” ever since I started this series.
If we take it at face value, it almost sounds like if you love someone you make yourself a target for manipulation and a target for other people to use you. It could be taken to mean “If you love someone, you’ll act like you trust them, even when a person has abused your trust.”