February 13. Love Bears All Things.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13. Love Bears All Things.

I have always loved 1 Corinthians 13, but with just a little bit of study, I find that it fills my heart to overflowing.

This phrase in 1 Corinthians 7, can not be translated into English in a way that allows us to perceive the depths of its meaning.  The Greek word, stego, means to cover … to enclose in order to keep bad things out – like keeping water from flowing into the inside of a ship.

It means to keep confidential, to cover, to pass over in silence … it is a love that throws a cloak of silence over what is displeasing in another person. It also means to endure difficult things, to bear them without complaint.

In society today, we believe that it is necessary to expose people to the light in order to bring them back into the right.  Let them face their punishment, let them stand in humility so that all can pass judgment and then all are able to forgive.

Paul tells us that while it might be the person’s responsibility to expose themselves, it is sometimes of greater importance, in love, to cover those things and to give them a little freedom to handle their difficulties.

This really does go against our nature. I think of how lives have been devastated because the entire world feels that it has a right to see deep, dark secrets.  Is there no one that will stand up and say stop?  From Hollywood celebrities to pastors.  Homosexuals feel that they have to ‘come out’ and face the beating that will come in order to be true to themselves. Is there no one that stands between these people and the public that would destroy them? Is there no one that will stand as a cover in order to protect them from negative attention?

When there is the threat of exposure, who will stand by and say, ‘Walk through me first and when you are finished battling with my strength, then if you have any left, you must walk through me again.  I will not let you past.”

Jesus Christ said this.  He stands as a covering for our sin. He protects us from the wrath of a holy God. He turns the weakness of death on a cross into incredible strength.  He does this, not only to offer us a way into heaven, but also as a model for how we are to treat our friends and family.  If, as sinless man, Jesus Christ loves us so much that He will offer Himself for us … how can we offer less than ourselves for those we love?

When someone needs you to stand between them and the world, will you step aside because you believe that you are justified in exposing them or will you stand in love and strength to protect them from themselves and the world?