“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .8 Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
The God-kind of love is unselfish and unconditional.
Please read aloud the above statement three times before you proceed to read the rest of this piece. Thanks for obeying. Lol. I asked you to read aloud that statement because in it lies all the truth that I believe God is trying to communicate to us through this series on the characteristics of agape.
Now at number 11, we’re told ‘Love always protects’. And you do well to ask ‘What does it mean for love to protect another and what does it mean to do so always?’
An in-depth study into the original word that’s translated here as to protect is a verb that is derived from a root word meaning ‘roof’. As a result some bible commentaries argue (and I agree) that the God-kind of love covers and shields others like a roof does to all that is under it.
When a roof covers something or someone, it protects that person or thing from harmful external influences like the weather or stray objects from above. Also when a roof covers someone or something, it hides it from sight. Using these two insights into the functions of a roof, we can in some way say that love, the God-kind of love in us always seeks to protect others from harm/insults/anything detrimental. Whether or not the other person is a loved one, a bitter enemy or a stranger, the agape love, which God has graciously poured into the heart of every believer motivates us to protect the interests of others by doing whatever we can to see that no harm comes to them.
Similarly, the statement ‘love always protects’ also means that love hides and conceals the imperfections of others. This thought is supported by 1 Pet. 4:8 (NIV) where the apostle Peter admonishes believers to “above all love each other for love covers over a multitude of sins”
By saying that love covers sin, the Bible does not mean that love covers sin by being an accomplice to it. No. To be an accomplice to sin is to sin also. It just means that when a believer allows the agape love of God to rule in his heart, he chooses to overlook the many faults of others and refuses to publicize their faults (Prov. 11:13).
One of the dangers in publicizing other people’s faults as a child of God is that when we needlessly inform other people about the faults of others, our negative report may lead our listener to harbor thoughts of ill will concerning the person being spoken about. You may have already experienced what I’m talking about. A friend tells you something negative about a mutual acquaintance and from that moment on your attitude towards that other person is needlessly unpleasant/rude.
Don’t be the one who sows a seed of discord/enmity among others. If someone need not know about the misdemeanors of another person then don’t tell them. That’s what it means for love to always protect. Shalom!!
How about we make this confession together to remind ourselves of who we are in Christ:
“The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me. I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit. Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me. I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me. I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.
I am a lover not a hater.
I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can grow and increase. …….I will make the love of God my great quest in life, for then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.
N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.
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