Articles

Articles

"Love Believes All Things"

Love Believes All Things

By Paul R. Blake

            “Love believes all things” (1Cor. 13:7). It believes good things about a brother until there is clear evidence, not clear suspicion, that we should not be bearing silently with him and believing all things. There is a difference between clear evidence and suspicion that merely seems clear to us. Barnes writes: “In regard to the conduct of others, there is the disposition to put the best construction on it.” When someone says or does something, we know and love that person to the extent that we’re going to spin his or her words and actions the best way we can. We are going to view it in the best light possible, rather than begin to doubt and wonder.  We are going to believe that they are actuated by good motives; they meant well, regardless of how well they expressed or conducted themselves, because we know that they mean well and intend no injury.

            “There is a willingness to suppose as far as can be that what is done is done consistently with friendship, good feeling, and virtue” (Barnes). We know that our brothers and sisters did this because we know them and believe the best in them regarding this matter; we know this because we love each other. Love produces this condition because it rejoices in the happiness and virtue of others. It doesn’t judge nor is it suspicious of the virtue of others. Because of our relationship in Christ, it assumes the virtuousness of others, rejoicing over it. John wrote: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3John 4).

            We rejoice that our fellow disciples are our fellow disciples. This joy enhances our love for them, enabling us to say: “They have the very best motives at heart; they are doing their best; they are doing this because of the goodness of our relationship.” And, we will not believe the contrary about them without irrefutable evidence. Love believes all things.

 

The Day Off

(Compiled by Paul R. Blake)

            One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car

was left open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room, the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread near the

            He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she may be ill, or that something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

            He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

            She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do with all of the time I had today?"

            "Yes" was his puzzled reply.

            She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

            We often take for granted those things that others do for us, and it sometimes takes their absence for us to appreciate what they do. What of the disciple who comes early to the church building to unlock the doors, turn on the lights, and adjust the temperature; or, of the brother who stays late to close it up after services? What of the sister who comes early to prepare the communion and stays afterward to clean up. Or of the police, utility company employees, and the myriad other persons who work behind the scenes to keep our lives comfortable and incident free? We loudly express our displeasure when their work is left undone or simply if it doesn’t measure up to our satisfaction, but how often are we thankful and tell them so when they faithfully perform their chosen duties?

            Now think... what if God took the day off? How would your day turn out?

            “I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:1-3)

            "For in Him we live and move and have our being..." (Acts 17:28)

The Little Loaf

            Once, when there was a famine, a baker found 20 of the poorest children in his little town and said to them, “In this basket, there is a small loaf of bread for each of you. Take it, and come back to me every day till God sends us better times.”

            The hungry children gathered eagerly about the basket, and quarreled for the bread, because each wished to have the largest loaf. At last, they went away without even thanking the good man.

            But Gretchen, a poorly dressed little girl, did not quarrel or struggle with the rest, but remained standing quietly in the distance. When the ill-behaved children had left, she took the smallest loaf, which alone was left in the basket, kissed the man’s hand and went home.

            The next day the children were as ill-behaved as before, and poor, timid Gretchen received a loaf of bread scarcely half the size of the one she got the first day. When she went home and her mother cut the loaf open, many new, shining pieces of silver fell out of it.

            The mother was very much alarmed, and said, “Take the money back to the good man at once, for it must have gotten into the dough by accident. Go quickly, Gretchen, go quickly!”

            But when the little girl gave the kind baker her mother’s message, he said, “No, no, my child, it was no mistake. I had the silver pieces put into the smallest loaf to reward you. Always be contented, peaceable and grateful as you are now. Go home, now, and tell your mother that the silver is your own.” (From McGuffey’s Third Reader)

 

A Moment’s Wisdom

—Things will improve anywhere the power of love replaces the love of power.

—Digging for facts is far greater mental exercise than jumping to conclusions.

—Commitment is what makes a group into a team.

—Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but only a pig will enjoy it.

—Feeling sorry for the needy is not the mark of a Christian, to help them is.

---It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.

—It is not a tragedy to have only one talent; the tragedy is in not using it.

—We are inclined to react most strongly to our own faults when we see them demonstrated by other people.

—One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness, since it is often returned.

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