"...Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." -1st Corinthians 13:7
Just when you think you know all about love, God flips your life upside down once again. Love is never comfortable and neither is God.
This week He has been teaching me about what love is and what it isn’t. There are a lot of messages that come across when we think of the word “love” (aka Hallmark movies, anything Disney related, the cute couple on instagram, etc.) but love is way more than what is portrayed in all of those things.
For example, each one of those examples happened to be a love relationship between a couple (or potential couple). However, love is not exclusive to a dating or married relationship. Love is what grows in any friendship.Love is what grows in any friendship. Click To Tweet
Sometimes the greatest love stories ever told are between a friendship. Sometimes they are between a father and son. Love is grown where it is cultivated.
This blog post (unfortunately) isn’t a fix-all post, however, by following these keys to love that is pointed out to us in the Bible, you are planting some beautiful seeds and giving love the space it needs to grow like wildflowers.
The first key to this verse is found in the phrase, “love bears all things”. This word bear (not to be mistaken with the large black bear that can be seen roaming your local mountain), has many synonyms associated with it:
Carry, tote, lug, support, hold up, etc.
When I read this list, I saw a common theme among all of these words… they don’t really sound easy. When was the last time you “lugged” around a cotton ball? Most likely never. You usually reserve this word for the heavier things in life. I can imagine however, “lugging” around a 60 pound suitcase through the airport. It takes a little bit more strength than carrying a cotton ball around.
Support and hold up are also words that I imagine being used for more intense situations. For example, when a new construction is under way, there have to be supports put into place to help keep the structure held up. Without these structures, the whole building will crumble with the first amount of pressure applied.
After considering all of these words used in place of the word “bear” (because let’s face it, I am a visual person and all I can see is a big black bear when I read this part of the verse… I know, it’s ridiculous), I realized what this sentence really means:
Love carries all things. Love totes around all things. Love lugs around all things. Love supports all things. Love holds up all things.
This means that when you really love someone (as mentioned before, doesn’t just have to be a dating/married relationship), you are responsible for sticking it out with them. You are responsible for coming alongside of them and helping them carry ALL things. You are responsible for helping support them in ALL things. And sometimes what they’re going through just flat out sucks and you are responsible for helping them lug around ALL things.
*Disclaimer: all really means ALL. As much as we’d like to pick and chose what we help carry, love isn’t picky. Love is all in.
This also applies when YOU are the one going through some tough stuff. You must allow the ones who truly love you and are trying to implement this key to do so. It can be easy to just want to shut everyone out and do it on your own with the tough stuff starts rolling in, but that’s not love. Sometimes love is fun and easy, but other times it’s hard. But in all seasons, love done right is beautiful.Sometimes love is fun and easy, but other times it's hard. But in all seasons, love done right is beautiful. Click To Tweet
Not to alarm you or anything, but if you thought the first part of the verse was hard, get ready for the next part. In my opinion, this is the absolute hardest part of love, but it’s also the most important.
"Love believes all things"
The number one thing to keep in mind is the phrase,
"He/She didn't mean it."
I know what you’re thinking, “OH YES SHE DID!” Immediately a time when someone hurt you just popped up out of nowhere, didn’t it?
“But Mariah! I KNOW she meant it! She came up to me, told me I was the ugliest person on this planet and then told my boss that I had been bad-mouthing the company so that she got the promotion instead of me! OF COURSE she meant it!”
Ultimately, we have to make the decisions to believe that she didn’t mean it. We have to make up our minds to BELIEVE the best in people. Maybe she was treated wrong as a child, maybe her boyfriend abuses her, maybe her dog died last night, maybe she’s just having a really bad day, etc. But whatever the case, we must believe that she didn’t mean it.
Why? Because we are not God and we cannot see the motivations of another person’s heart.
I first learned this concept when reading the book, “How’s You Soul” by Judah Smith (I’ve read it multiple times now and totally recommend it! It’s on sale through Amazon right now! Buy it here.) He says “…the reason we must believe they didn’t mean it is because we either choose to let God be God, or we take it upon ourselves to right every wrong and defend every injustice.” He continues on by saying, “that’s impossible, though just FYI. We aren’t capable of sorting through the motivations of our own hearts half the time, much less those of others. And we certainly can’t expect that exacting our idea of vengeance is somehow going to solve things. It doesn’t work that way.”
When we start living our lives from this perspective, love is able to speak in ways that it’s never been able to before. We give love the opportunity to take control and mend the broken parts of others hearts AND our own. How beautiful is that picture?
Before, you may have lost it on this girl who said those things to you and attempted to ruin your career, but by living with the mindset, “she didn’t mean it”, others begin to take notice. Where revenge once would have been the first reaction, love now resides.Where revenge once would have been the first reaction, love now resides. Click To Tweet
Not only is your heart changed by love, but others hearts are won by the same love. She notices something’s different and apologizes for her words and actions. She tells you that her last week has been the worst week of her life and she’s just been looking for a way to grow herself in the company to distract her from her home life. And all of the sudden, a door is open to tell her why you didn’t respond the way you wanted to.
All because, “love believes all things”.