We live in a world where trust is not always easy to give or receive. Rich couples enter into a prenuptial agreement out of fear for the security of their individual wealth. A spouse falls into adultery, breaking apart the beauty and purpose of marriage. Siblings resort to malicious or even murderous acts toward one another out of greed for material inheritance. Or friends resort to betrayal for a common love interest. Many people develop a cynical perspective about relationships due to painful experiences such as these. One can easily find many reasons not to trust people with whom they are in a relationship. The trust built over the years in a relationship can tragically crumble with a single instance of betrayal.
Every relationship is built upon trust. Without trust, any relationship can fail to prosper and may easily fall apart. Love flourishes when trust is cultivated but also diminishes in the absence or lack of trust.
(1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.) teaches us that part of what love does is that it “always trusts.” In the KJV, it is translated as “love believeth all things.” Does this mean that, despite the presence or possibility of relational exploitation, one must be naive or gullible in order to demonstrate biblical love? Should we just love anyone, even though it may cause us harm?
We must also remember that love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;). Love is not necessarily about getting into just any relationship through the lack of proper discernment or by the allowance of compromise of God’s truth. The context of this verse must be made clear first. Paul made this epistle to address the immorality and the factions that were dividing the Corinthian church. Lawsuits were being made against fellow Christians (1 Corinthians 6). Paul, even though he believed that love always trusts, was rebuking the Corinthian Christians for their spiritual immaturity. But he was also teaching them to choose to trust in love.
(1 Corinthians 6:5-8 KJV)
Paul was teaching the believers to bear with one another and choose trust in love instead of judgment and hostility.
The word “believeth” in the KJV of 1 Corinthians 13:7 is translated from the Greek word pisteuō, which means “to entrust a thing to one” or “to be entrusted with a thing.” In the AMP Version, it is translated as “believes all things [looking for the best in each one].” Love that always trusts is not about naivete but the conscious expression of trust despite offenses—to focus on the best in a person and to choose to continue to trust with love.
We must also know, though, that the trust in this love is not anchored upon the character of man. Man is corruptible due to his sinful nature. This love is anchored upon the grace of Christ that is ever-growing, in the process of progressive sanctification in a believer’s life. To always trust means to trust in the work of Christ in a person. This allows us to be patient with those who are not yet mature in some areas of their lives. That way, love truly will never fail.
“10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
(1 John 4:10-12,15-16,19-21 KJV)