by Pastor Peter Tan-Chi
[Hello Everyone: Starting today, I will post the best messages from the Christ Commission Fellowship’s (CCF) Weekly Chronicles every final week of the month. Those messages were summarized by the great pastors and preachers from CCF that I’ve always kept the CCF’s Weekly Chronicles at home. CCF still continues to discuss the series of love. Thank you. — Chester Diaz of Chester2278’s World of Blogs]
We like love. In fact, many books and movies today are about love. Problem is, we don’t know what true love really is.
1 Corinthians 13:5-6 describes love: “[it] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not easily angered, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth…” And verse 7 says that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
What does it mean to bear, believe, hope and endure all things?
Love bears all things
“Bear” here comes from the Greek “stego” which literally means “to cover closely so as to keep water either out or in.” It means to protect. In the NIV, it says, “Love protects all things…”
Love believes all things
The word “believe” here comes from the Greek “pisteou” which means “committed to one’s trust.” It means to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. In psychology, this is called “generous thinking”. It is to believe the best of people. To trust them. Studies show that this is one of the denominators of happy families, happy marriages, and good relationships.
The problem is people are quick to think the worst of others, or to speculate as to why they do what they do, which is called vain imaginations. This can result in very negative consequences and wreck relationships. Take the Ammonites in 2 Samuel 10 for example. David sent servants to console Hanun regarding the death of his father, the Ammonite King. But the Ammonite princes convinced Hanun that David was in fact set to spy on them. So Hanun mistreated and dishonored David’s servants, leading to a war between two former allied countries and costing thousand of lives from both sides.
Wrong thinking leads to wrong emotion. And wrong emotion leads to wrong actions. You may believe something that is not true and still have it impact your life devastatingly. Your mind is that powerful. That’s why the bible encourages every Christian to assume responsibility for this thought life. “…We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” says Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:5. He exhorts us to believe the best instead: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Love hopes all things
“Hope” here comes from the Greek “elpizo” which is “an attitude of looking forward to, of trusting. We can hope for the best in people (and in everything else) because our hope is in our God who is in the business of transforming lives and making miracles. We can view people not just in their own strength, but in what Jesus can do in and through them. With Jesus, anything is possible. We can trust them because we entrust them to God.
Love endures all things
Many times, we think our job is to judge people, point out their mistakes and correct them. But 1 Cor. 4:5 says, “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” It’s God’s job to judge. Our job is to endure all things and to love.
Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Such is God’s love; it bears all things, believes and hopes for the best, and endures the worst. And he has called us to do the same. Love believes the best!
Next Month: There’s No “I” in Love by Pastor Joby Soriano.
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Starting June 6, I will write my first Tagalog blog on http://chesterdiaz.posterous.com for Filipino readers and bloggers like me. Thank you and God bless.