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1 Corinthians 13 Part 14: Love Believes all Things
1 Corinthians 13:7b Love always trusts
“Love…believes all things,.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 NASB1995
After we read about how love bears all things, Paul now says that love believes all things. He is not saying that we are credulous fools, falling for every lie and scam that comes our way (a big risk in this world full of liars and scam artists). He IS saying that when we love others, we give them the benefit of the doubt and err on the side of trusting them. People are innocent until proven guilty.
Let’s do another word study. “Believes” comes from the Greek word pisteuo, according to the Blue Letter Bible. Pisteuo is defined as follows:
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
of the thing believed
to credit, have confidence
in a moral or religious reference
used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
to be entrusted with a thing
In this context, we are crediting or placing confidence in someone else that they will be believable and trustworthy. We love our neighbor and will think the best of him or her. If trust is broken, then that has to be rebuilt carefully, but we will still love them.
In this day and age of the constant inquisition and immediate rush to judgment on social media, this is a rare and precious precept. Even within families, we think the worst of others without giving them the benefit of the doubt. This goes back to the anti-love scorecards that we keep, for family, friends and even strangers. These kinds of monologues go on in our minds and we tick those accounting boxes and add up the score:
“Well, my friend Kate [not a real person] has been a good friend, helped me when I had to move, enjoys some of my jokes, and ‘likes’ many of my posts. She’s fun to socialize with. However, she voted for the wrong person for President and I cannot let that go by. That means I can’t trust her to have wisdom in the important things.”
So a political difference will destroy a good friendship?
“That sign-flyer is always begging on that street corner. I bet he’s a con artist, not a veteran looking for help. I just read about a guy who was arrested for scamming people while looking for donations. You can’t trust anyone who begs on the street.”
I’m sure Jesus will be impressed with your savviness about beggars and seeing through their “con”.
“My co-worker Jon [not a real person] always comes through in supporting the projects we are assigned to together. He is meticulous, accurate and never complains. However, he has some weird habits and I’ve heard he is in a ‘different’ relationship outside of work. I don’t think I can trust him because he is doesn’t believe and is an open sinner.”
You are working with this person and they are reliable and trustworthy when it comes to the job. A time may come that you have an opportunity to discuss your beliefs, but working peacefully with them does not mean you are condoning their lifestyle, but you are showing them love, which is the start of the battle. And you are a sinner, too.
We are all guilty of having this lack of trust! Sometimes we will be taken advantage of, but loving others the way that God wants us to love will impel us to believe that they are truly innocent when we engage with them. Steven Cole in one of his sermons on Bible.org has some good words to ponder:
The NIV translates, “Love always trusts.” This does not mean gullibility; it does mean that love is not suspicious and doubting of the other person’s character and motives without good reason, even if his actions offended you. If trust has been broken, then it needs to be earned again, step by step. But love believes the other person is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. If there is a problem, love doesn’t jump immediately to blame the other person.
In the family, trust shows itself by not grilling the other person about every detail of his story, like an attorney cross-examining a defendant. It means believing in your kids, expressing confidence in them. I’m thankful that my parents trusted me as a teenager; it made me want to live up to that trust. One of my friends had parents who did not trust him, and he lived up to their distrust! Sometimes you will get ripped off when you trust, but love persists in trusting.
You are not the judge, jury and executioner that is standing at the ready to pull the trigger at the slightest provocation or perceived flaw in others. By modeling trustworthy and loving behavior, it might just rub off! Love always trusts! Love others the way you want to be loved (and I’m sure you want to be trusted, too).
My next devotional examines 1 Corinthians 7:c Love Hopes all Things.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord - Please fill my heart with trusting love for others, believing the best about them. Even if they fail in that trust, let me still love them and point them to you as the example of infinite love and forgiveness. Amen
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Sermons by Steven Cole on Precept Austin and Bible.org are copyright 1995.