It is written:
1 Corinthians 13:7 (Love)…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The Bible says that love “believes all things.”
Through the years, people have often scoffed at this passage of Scripture, claiming that it encourages Christians to “believe everything that they hear.”
However, the passage means nothing of the sort! Anyone familiar with Paul’s writings knows that he encourages people to be always watchful because the days are evil (Colossians 4:5-6). We are to test all things and hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Paul’s description here of love has nothing to do with being naive and gullible!
So, what does this mean?
Let’s notice some different translations of the Bible here:
… “believes the best in all…” (ISV)
… “is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” (Amplified)
… “for it never stops believing the best for others…” (TPT)
These translations are all bringing out the idea that love strives to see the best in other people.
Think about Jesus and Judas Iscariot (you remember, the guy that sold Jesus to be arrested and murdered for thirty pieces of silver).
“But it is the place of Judas that is of special interest. It is quite clear that Jesus could speak to him privately without the others overhearing. If that is so, there is only one place Judas could have been occupying. He must have been on Jesus’ left, so that, just as John’s head was in Jesus’ breast, Jesus’ head was in Judas’. The revealing thing is that the place on the left of the host was the place of highest honour, kept for the most intimate friend. When that meal began, Jesus must have said to Judas: ‘Judas, come and sit beside me tonight; I want specially to talk to you.’ The very inviting of Judas to that seat was an appeal. But there is more. For the host to offer the guest a special titbit, a special morsel from the dish, was again a sign of special friendship. When Boaz wished to show how much he honoured Ruth, he invited her to come and dip her morsel in the wine (Ruth 2: 14). T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, told how when he sat with the Arabs in their tents, sometimes the Arab chief would tear a choice piece of fat mutton from the whole sheep before them and hand it to him (often a most embarrassing favour to a western palate, for it had to be eaten!). When Jesus handed the morsel to Judas, again it was a mark of special affection. And we note that even when Jesus did this the disciples did not grasp the significance of his words. That surely shows that Jesus was so much in the habit of doing this that it seemed nothing unusual. Judas had always been picked out for special affection. There is tragedy here. Again and again Jesus appealed to that dark heart, and again and again Judas remained unmoved. God save us from being completely impervious to the appeal of love.” (William Barclay, The Gospel of John, Volume Two (The New Daily Study Bible), 169-170 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England; Saint Andrews Press)
Jesus NEVER gave up on Judas!
He tried to reach him, even up to the night that Judas betrayed Him!
Sometimes, we struggle with this. We have a hard time believing the best about other people.
Let me tell you a story.
I remember an addict that I was working with once who told me about how hard it was going to be when she got out of jail.
You see, this young lady came from a home life where every person in her family-EVERY PERSON-was abusing drugs. She had been raised abusing drugs, with a family that abused them, and she herself had started abusing them when she was seven years old. Then, she had been incarcerated for drug-related offenses, and had been confined for almost seven months.
While in jail, she had gotten clean!
She had become a productive and active member of Celebrate Recovery and was working to get her life back on track.
Most importantly, she had been baptized into Christ, where the Lord washed her sins away and made her a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Acts 2:38)! The date was fast coming for her to get out of jail, and she was so hopeful and excited!
Then, a family member had visited and told her something to this effect:
“You are nothing but an addict, and that’s all you will ever be.”
She was devastated.
Well, what had happened?
Her family member had not learned that love “is always ready to believe the best of every person.”
I encouraged her to remember that she was a new Christian, that her identity was not in her past but in who she is in Christ, and to not listen to those voices but to instead hear the Word of God:
Jeremiah 31:3-The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Romans 8:37-Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Today, she is a faithful child of God and has gotten her life back!
She told me recently that one of the things that had helped her to keep going was that I refused to give up on her and continued to believe the best of her (and for her).
Christian, think about this: when God looked at you when you were at your worst, He did not give up on you. He loved you-He believed in you, believed the best about you-and He did not give up on you.
So please, don’t give up on others.
Your belief in them may be the only thing that gets them through their personal hells in this world.
Please God, help us learn to have a love that sees the best in people and doesn’t give up on them. Amen.