Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bears All Things

Love bears all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). There are two possible ideas here. That love bears others burdens (Galatians 6:2; Romans 15:1,2; Hebrews 12:12,13) or that it shows forbearance to others (Ephesians 4:1-3; Colossians 3:12-14; 1 Corinthians 6:7,8). I think both of these are in view here, to help those who need help and not to retaliate if someone does us wrong. Now I do not think that this means that there is no place to try to obtain justice (1 Corinthians 6:2-6; Matthew 18:15-17; Acts 16:35--39) or that people should be allowed simply to take advantage of others (Galatians 6:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12; Ephesians 4:28). But I am convinced that "all things" here means anything, no matter how great, if it is ultimately required. It is not speaking of reasonable attempts to pursue justice or exercise prudence, but of how far we will go to help another when these things fail. The example here is Jesus, who bore the cross to save us (Romans 15:3; Luke 23:34; 2 Corinthians 8:9). When push comes to shove, love is willing to do whatever it takes to help another.The issue here is one of attitude. We should be concerned enough for the real welfare of others not to just give them what they want because they want it. But there should be no limit to what we will do to help others genuinely in need. This is hard to live up to, but I am convinced it is God's standard.

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