Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor. 13:7)
The second verb Paul uses to describe what love does is believe. “Love believes all things.” What does that mean? Does that mean love is gullible or naive, that love believes whatever someone else says? Does it mean that loving people believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause? The Greek word for believe here is the word pisteuō, which you may recognize as the word most commonly translated as faith. For instance, this is the same word we find in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes (pisteuō) in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Thus, what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Are we talking about a mere intellectual accent? Are we talking about simply believing that Jesus exists and is real? Or, are we talking about believing that Jesus really did die on the cross and rise from the dead? Yes, and more, much more. To believe in Jesus is to entrust yourself to him, to trust him, to trust him with your life, to believe in him and to believe him. Thus, the Greek word carries the meaning of “as having confidence in what is spoken or written, give credence to, think to be true, having confidence in a person.” In other words, when we love someone, we believe them; we trust them; we think the best of them; we give them the benefit of the doubt. This is so important in our social media world. So often we read what someone posts on Facebook or sends out through Twitter and we assume the worst of them. We impute negative motives to that person or believe they are directing their post toward us or at people like us. We assume we know what they are implying, and we read between the lines. Or, when someone does not return an email or a text or respond to or comment on a social media post, we assume they are ignoring us. “Surely they’ve seen my text or post!” we think to ourselves. But maybe they haven’t. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe what they've posted on the internet does not mean what you think it means. Love believes all things. Love believes the best in others. Love gives others the benefit of the doubt.
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