1 Corinthians 13:7
Throughout Paul’s writings, he focuses a lot on love. For example, later in this same chapter in verse 13, Paul says, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Why is it that Paul focuses on love and not something else like faith or hope? He calls love the greatest of the three, but why is that?
Everything that anyone does is based on love. For example, if a husband brings his wife home flowers, it is based on love. Whether it be love for the husband’s wife or love for looking good in front of his kids, either one is still love! Even crimes are committed out of love for money, lust, or power. Everything that everyone has ever done has been motivated by love in some way shape or form. Love is a powerful thing!
The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that the whole reason that God sent His Son Jesus to save humanity was out of love. God loves His people to the point of sending His own Son to His death. Love has characterized God’s actions throughout the entirety of history. Yet He calls us to have the same love for others that He has for us.
When asked what the most important commandments are in all of the law, Jesus responded by saying this: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Jesus says here that the Law is quite simple. Love God and love others. He then gives a new commandment before He leaves the earth. He said to his disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It is easy to say that we are fulfilling these commandments because love can look like many different things. Yet Paul is saying here in 1 Corinthians 13 exactly what love should look like. What we need to ask ourselves is if our love looks like this.
Love has become a very obscure concept in the world today. Much of the time, love is sex in today’s culture. What is interesting is that when Paul talks about love here, he doesn’t even mention sexual love. He talks about the love which Christ wants us to have.
We should all strive to love in this manner. Does our love bear all things? Does it believe all things? Does it hope all things? Does it endure all things? Is our love unconditional or does it only exist when the right circumstances are in place? All of these questions are things that we should be asking from this verse in 1 Corinthians 13:7. Regardless of how we measure up, we can agree that love is a powerful thing and that God’s love certainly keeps us going day by day.
King James Version (KJV)
“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
New International Version (NIV)
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”
Love endures all things, no matter what. You will face troublesome situations in life but with your beloved ones on your side you will manage to get through them.