I Corinthians 13:7a, “[Love] believeth all things … “
So, what’s the deal? Is love gullible and believes everything it hears? Is it naive or does it turn a blind eye??! Why would the Bible say it believes all things? I don’t think love can believe lies or should be unrealistic, but I do believe it means that love believes THE BEST instead of assuming the worst.
That’s a hard one for me because I kind of consider myself a realist. I am no Pollyanna; I don’t like facts sugar coated; and I do not own any rose-colored glasses. On the other hand, I’m not a pessimist either; God has been too good to me to allow me to be down on life. Perhaps since reading the book Lincoln’s Melancholy this summer, I have found a new term to describe myself; it is a term Lincoln used to describe how he felt about the Civil War: cautiously optimistic. Optimistic because he knew God was in control, yet cautious about his own ideas and hopes because he also knew God doesn’t always see things the way we humans see things.
AND what if you believe the best but the worst comes out??! Well, Martha Peace, the author of The Excellent Wife, gives this advice: “When at times, the ‘worst’ is a fact, then a wife [a woman, a person] is to order her life and her goals by faith and not by sight. In other words, no matter what her husband [her friend, her family, someone else] has done, a godly, loving wife [woman, person] trusts in God’s sovereign care over her marriage [life’s path]. She knows that God has a purpose in the circumstances for her. She believes without a doubt that He can ‘work all things together for good to those that love Him’.” (Romans 8:28)
Matthew Henry – in his commentary – seems to agree. He writes, “Indeed charity [love] does by no means destroy prudence [caution or discretion]. Wisdom may dwell with love, and charity be cautious. But it is apt to believe well of all. All charity is apt to make the best of everything; it will judge well, and believe well. And, when in spite of inclination, it cannot believe well of others, it will yet hope well.” This last statement leads to to tomorrow’s tenet: Love hopes all things.