The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 on love is extremely convicting to me, especially the statement, “Love bears all things.”
Love may be easy when things are going our way, but this verse is not just talking about loving in the good times. This verse specifies the word all, which also means loving when times are tough and being willing to suffer for the sake of that love. When I read this particular verse I always think about the love of Christ, and ask myself, do I love Christ enough to suffer for the sake of loving Him? Am I willing to bear anything – persecution or death for the sake of loving Christ, and for others in my life that I love. I think that is what Paul is referring to in this statement, and is a sobering reminder for us to love in the same manner that Christ loved us.
Jonathan Edwards, one of my favorite theologians speaks of this matter and he gives several ways “love bears all things” in this regard. They are:
Love bears all things is being willing to undergo all sufferings, of all kinds, that are in the way of duty. For example, to prefer the honor of Christ before their own. This means to suffer and being willing to lose all things whether it be family, earthly possessions, etc. for that love.
Love bears all things is being willing to undergo all sufferings, of all degrees that are in the way of duty. This means to forsake all for the sake of Christ and to endure all degrees of mocking, contempt, etc for the sake of that relationship.
This type of love mentioned above is one that never gives up and has the ability to endure any hardship, sorrow, or disappointment that comes. This is how we should strive to love Christ and the people he puts into our lives. I think the true test of love in any relationship comes not when things are easy but when things are hard, and loving a person during the unlovable times. After all, that is how Christ loves us. When we are going through hard times and love does not come easy, Christ loves us anyway. There is nothing that we could go through that would make Christ not love us, and we should apply that concept to all the relationships God places in our lives.
Take some time today to pray and to surrender yourself to the Lord. Ask Him to show you how to love Him better, and ask him to give you wisdom in finding the ability to love the ones He has placed in your life.