Archive for February, 2015

Love Believes the Best! But is it Gullible?

February 26th, 2015 No comments


On face value, the notion that “loves believes all things” sounds like an invitation to join the Optimists Club (No offense to any club members).

Is God asking us to be gullible? Is He calling us to blindly place our trust and confidence in those who are demonstrably untrustworthy?

Are we supposed to be Christian versions of Charlie Brown placing our naïve trust in Lucy as she promises to hold the ball steady, only to land flat on our backs once again?

Fortunately for us, this is not what Paul is saying.

This word “believe” means “to put one’s faith or trust in something or someone.” This verb is a constant continuing action in the Greek, meaning a never-give-up kind of belief.

This kind of love believes the best in every situation.

You see, most of us have been burned by others who we “believed in.” As a result, we often default to a position of guarded suspicion in our dealings with others. We pride ourselves in never being “burned” a second time by someone who has hurt or failed us.

So what’s the proper balance between a naïve gullibility and jaded cynicism?

Daring love is neither stupid nor blind. It see it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. But here’s the critical difference – it chooses to view both the person and the situation through the eyes of faith.
It places its confidence in the character of God and the sure promises in His Word.

It sees beyond the obvious problems and challenges, straining forward to see the highest potential that resides in each individual. A great translation would be…

“Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation…”

Love “believes all things” and refuses to yield to suspicions of doubt and negativity. In fact, love does the opposite. It remains confident to the end.


Because love places its faith in God, who will work out His divine plans even when all the circumstances seem to point in the opposite direction.

When the details are sketchy or unclear, choose to believe the best, and not the worst about the person or situation.

Love always believes the best!

Love Bears All Things

February 23rd, 2015 2 comments

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.

Rescuing Love From the Grey

February 19th, 2015 4 comments

rescuing love

On Valentine’s Day, America reached an all-time low in popular culture perversion with the release of the pornographic, sadomasochistic movie Fifty Shades of Grey. Perhaps it serves as a prophetic picture of the ever-deepening fog surrounding modern conceptions of love and romance. God never intended to leave us groping in the murky shadows of grey, especially when it comes to such critical issues as love, sex and romance.

I have Christian friends who believe the “spiritually mature” actually live in the sophisticated, enlightened world of grey. Black and white thinking, the kind that draws clear lines between good and evil, is really a sign of haughtiness and narrow-mindedness. We all know, they argue, that the real world is mostly painted with various shades of grey. The general conclusion is something like this – “So shut up and quit judging people. Just love everyone. It might be right for them. We are all on our own journey.” Ad nauseam.

While life certainly has some grey hues, God has none! He is clothed in unapproachable light (I Timothy 6:16). He has no shadows (James 1:17); no grey, contour less lines. He is light and in Him is no darkness (I John 1:5).

Where God has chosen to speak, there remains no darkness.

The good news is that God has a lot to say about true LOVE.

The Apostle Paul shines God’s clear light on LOVE  in I Corinthians 13, a chapter that has become well known as “The Love Chapter.”

I want us to focus specifically on verse 7:

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:7, ESV

I love the rendering in the Amplified version: Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fade less under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

First of all, notice that all four of the main verbs in this verse are present tense, meaning these qualities should become part of our lifestyle.

In addition, notice the repetition of the phrase “all things.” These four characteristics of what I am calling “Daring Love” cover every situation or circumstance we will encounter in life.

And the best news of all is that LOVE, real love, reigns victorious over every situation.

In the days to come, we’ll take a look at each of these phrases in an effort to pull LOVE from the world’s fifty shades of grey.