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Love Bears All Things

love bears

The Bible tells us “love bears all things.” (I Cor. 13:7)

The verb used here, stego, means “to cover closely, to protect, to conceal.”

The picture here is of a love that protects others by covering them, concealing them from hostile words and harmful actions that would bring injury. Love is pictured as a strong roof enduring the weight of everything coming from outside while providing a supportive, protecting covering from all that is inside.

We see a great example of this love in Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. The Pharisees drag a woman “caught in adultery” before Jesus. They had no concern for the woman or genuine care for the glory of God. This was simply a cleverly conceived plan to trap Jesus and the poor woman was merely a pawn.

Jesus saw right through their hypocrisy and he beautifully demonstrates what it means “to bear all things.” He commands the one without sin to start the execution process. Truth shines into their darkened hearts and the stones begin to hit the ground. “Where are your accusers?” Jesus asks the woman. They are gone. “Neither do I accuse you,” Jesus says. And then he admonishes her to “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus’ love is bearing love. It seeks to save and redeem, not to destroy.

Daring loves bears all, it doesn’t bare all. Love bears all things by protecting others from exposure, ridicule, or harm.

While love never hides or protects sin, it always seeks to protect the sinner.

There are those today who think “love” means accepting both the sin and the sinner under the banner of “unconditional love.” Jesus does not do that. He never condoned the woman’s sin. He didn’t sweep it under the rug like it was no big deal. At the same time, his heart was to cover the one guilty of the sin. His goal was healing and restoration, not condemnation. But true healing can never be realized as long as the individual clings to the sin that is destroying her.

Love won’t lie about weaknesses, but neither will it deliberately expose and emphasize them. Love protects. Love covers.

  1. Kerry Drake
    February 24th, 2015 at 16:42 | #1

    Good stuff. This can certainly help us to know how to act in the face of the defiant will of those who say “God will allow this behavior to slide because he loves everybody, and surely wouldn’t condemn them for their actions!” It’s so easy to excuse one’s self for doing something that God has explicitly said is wrong, in His word. I include myself in that statement.

  2. February 24th, 2015 at 22:29 | #2

    Thanks for the feedback!

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