Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…(1 Corinthians 13: 4-8).
We’ve been examining the characteristics of love the last few days. The last two days I discussed the truth that love does not rejoice at iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love does not ignore problems, but kindly confronts them with truth. A person who really loves you will be honest with you if you’re involved in something that will be a detriment to your life in some way.
The next characteristic of love from 1 Corinthians 13: 7 is that love bears all things. The word bear is the Greek word stege which simply means a roof or a covering. In this verse it means to cover by silence the offences of others! In fact the Berkeley translation of the New Testament of this phrase reads, Love covers all things in silence.
Proverbs 10:12 tells us that hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. And this principle is mentioned again in 1 Peter 4:8: And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. A believer who walks in love will not gossip about others’ problems!
Mrs. C Nuzum, author of the book The Life of Faith has this to say about love covering with silence: Love covers sins, even when there is a multitude of them. Love not only hides the evil in others, but refuses even to speak of it. Then, if we tell of the evil someone has done, criticize, judge, condemn, or murmur against anyone, no matter who he is or what he has done, we are proving that we have not love, because love covers in silence. 1
The atmosphere of America today is charged with gossip. People use social media to spread all kinds of rumors and to make innuendos about others that are hurtful and wrong. The political atmosphere is one of finding the latest dirt on this person or that. Let’s live on a higher level than self-centered flesh!
Resist the tendency to talk about others and their problems. A mature believer who walks in agape has learned to value others and will not be used to disseminate negative information! We are to keep our thoughts and our words on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy!
1. Mrs. C. Nuzum, The Life of Faith (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1928, 1956), p. 84