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Today’s 333 Devotional: “Love Hangs Tough”
In the Apostle Paul’s description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13, one of love’s attributes is “(love) bears all things.” The Greek word for bear is “stego”, which literally means to cover over something like a roof. It was used for covering something to protect it from the elements.
In a figurative sense this word meant to cover with silence, or to endure with patience. It’s enduring adverse circumstances for the betterment or welfare of others.
So a love that bears all things is a love that hangs tough. It’s a love that doesn’t cut and run when things don’t go its way. But exactly what does love bear?
First love bears imperfections.
This isn’t talking about tolerating sinful behavior; rather it’s tolerating behavior that isn’t the same as ours. It isn’t a grin and bear attitude either. It’s a love that serves with a smile those who may be different, or hold a different doctrinal viewpoint.
Second it’s a love that accepts personal differences.
Personal differences often cause division within the body of Christ. I’ve seen administratively gifted people who can’t stand those who are visionary or creative. Cholerics, the go getters and let’s get things done now people are frustrated with the Melancholies, those who are analytical and think everything through to the “nth” degree, or the Phlegmatics, who are relaxed and quite, and who will tell Cholerics to “chill.”
Finally love overlooks selfishness.
The toughest things to bear, to endure in silence, or to be patient with are those who take advantage of others, or those who aren’t pulling their weight leaving everything for others to do. It’s hard to love those who want us to do everything and then get mad when we can’t. But love dictates we love them in spite of all that.
A love that hangs tough, therefore, is a love that comes directly from God and not from us, because only God can put up with people like you and me.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study