“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.” Those are words we don’t often connect with our understanding of love in contemporary culture. Those images are more often tied to an overwhelming emotion or an overt sexuality or a self-seeking, self-satisfying longing.
But the Bible doesn’t let us get away with it that easily. In fact, if we read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 correctly, the grammar indicates that we are dealing entirely with verbs in the definition. Love, in other words, is something we do… not something we feel.
Now don’t let me sound unromantic here. Certainly there are wonderful emotions tied to the understanding of love and always has been. But at it’s core, love is something we DO, not something we FEEL.
“How do I know when I love someone?” Well, what are you doing for them? Are you acting in a loving way or are you acting selfishly? This is the essence of the conversation. How are we choosing to act?
In the last column we talked about the importance of covering… of protecting the one we love. This time, we want to take things one step further. What does love do? It doesn’t just protect. It also trusts.
Love trusts. Love trusts. There are three kinds of people in the world, according to Psychology Today. There are gullible people who trust anybody. There are cynical people who trust nobody. And there are people who can give others the benefit of the doubt. We struggle with trust today. It has to do with having confidence in… being able to lean on… feeling stability around someone.
People who trust well have healthy relationships and can build healthy intimacy. They can also maintain their own boundaries and limitations. Love trusts. That also involves risk, because when you trust someone they can hurt you. And sometimes they do.
Many who are reading this devotion have been failed. It’s hard for you to trust the intentions of a person who has let you down. A mate had an affair. A child got pregnant but is not married. A parent made a promise and broke it again. A business disappointed you and broke a contractual relationship.
Human nature says, “don’t ever trust them again.” But love trusts. Love forgives. Love gives a second chance. The essence of trust is to get back up, and give one more chance for things to work. Trusting people are, without question, the happiest people on earth.
Love always trusts.
“Forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
FOR REFLECTION: How can I show the love of Christ to by giving a second chance?