Loving Just Like Jesus

Loving Just Like Jesus

[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

—1 Corinthians 13:7

Paul says, “Love bears all things.” The word bear here means to cover over. It means to shield another person from the consequences of his actions, even if they’re wrong actions. If you truly love somebody and they commit wrong against you or somebody else, even though they deserve to suffer, something in you wants to protect them from suffering the consequences of their wrong. There’s a famous painting of the Prodigal Son in the Vatican in Rome. It’s a picture of the Father hugging the son who has returned home. But if you look carefully at that picture, you will see the townspeople in the background, and they are throwing stones and sticks at the Prodigal Son. They don’t think he deserves to come home because of what he did to the Father. Yet there is the Father embracing his son, enduring those stones and sticks the villagers are throwing at the son. He is shielding his son from the punishment of other people. That is a picture of what love does.

Thirdly, he says, “Love believes all things.” Now, that doesn’t mean you trade in your good sense and believe anything and everything somebody tells you. It simply means that, if at all possible, you give other people the benefit of the doubt. Your first inclination is to believe the best about a person instead of the worst about a person.

Fourth, “Love hopes all things.” Love refuses to believe that a person’s failure is final. No matter how badly the other person behaves, love holds out the possibility that the person will change. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have to take action sometimes. Sometimes a church needs to discipline, a business needs to dismiss, and a government needs to execute. But in personal relationships, love always holds out the possibility for the other person to change. We give them an opportunity to change, we never pronounce a final judgment upon somebody—only God can do that. Love holds out hope.

Next, “Love endures all things.” Endure is a military term that refers to a front line of soldiers who refuse to retreat and instead “endure” all the assaults of the enemy. If you truly love another person, instead of returning evil for evil, you endure those hurts and offenses and continue to love. Just like Jesus. Remember, as He hung on the cross for you and for me, He said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

 

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Love Connection,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.