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1 Corinthians 13:7

ESV Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
NIV It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
NASB it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
CSB It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
NLT Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
KJV Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

What does 1 Corinthians 13:7 mean?

Paul is coming to the end of his concise description of what true love looks like. The Greek word used for love, agape, describes God's unconditional love for His children and how He intends for us to love each other. After reading Paul's letter, it cannot be said that these 14 descriptors are true of the Corinthians' treatment of each other.

As Paul has piled on descriptors to show what Christian love does and does not do, it has become clear that love sets itself aside for the good of others. More precisely, those who love as Christ does set themselves aside to meet the needs of other Christians. It turns out, loving as Jesus loves is hard.

Now Paul shows that God's love is, in a sense, inexhaustible. It places no limits on its commitment to other believers.

Love bears all things. Love doesn't say, "this far and no further." Love is not limited by what is reasonable or by what other people would be willing to put up with. This does not mean that someone should allow him- or herself to continually be wounded, physically or otherwise, by other believers or family members. Sometimes love bears pain from a safe and legal distance, but truly godly love doesn't quit when others become annoying or difficult to deal with.

Love believes all things. Does this make love gullible? No, the choice to believe those who may be deceiving us removes the burden to catch others in the act of lying and projects onto them a respect they may or may not deserve. The one who is loved carries the burden to be truthful or to be held accountable to God, rather than to us.

Love hopes all things. Love roots for victory in others, for good to win, for truth to come out. In the Bible, hope is more than just a wish, it is a confidence that God will do as He says. Paul began this letter by saying to the Corinthians that Christ will "sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8). His confident hope for them was one evidence of his love for them.

Love endures all things. Christians face hard times. Those who choose to love as Jesus does do not stop loving when life becomes difficult. Love for God and others endures through tough days and long nights.
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