According to the New King James version of the Bible love “believes all things” I Cor. 13:7
The NIV says love “always trusts”. I Cor. 13:7
Even the RSV tells us love, “believes all things”. I Cor. 13:7
I have to admit I really struggle with that. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Word was “love trusts the trustworthy.” or “love believes the things that are true.” But that is not what the Word says. It says love “pisteuō pas”. Love believes everything!
So what? We are supposed to believe everything we hear? We’re supposed to trust the hoodlum on the corner with the keys to our car while we are delivering groceries to the homeless? We’re supposed to believe the religious claims of every televangelist just because we are loving people? Well that’s ridiculous. Anybody who tries to get you to believe that this is what the Scripture means is definitely not to be trusted even though you have to “always trust”!
The trouble comes in translating the Greek to English. Here is what pisteuō means in its fullness:
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
a) of the thing believed
1) to credit, have confidence
b) in a moral or religious reference
1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
a) to be intrusted with a thing
In short pisteuō is the condition of faith. Paul is saying that a true lover “faiths” all things. In other words a lover approaches every situation with an attitude that is full of faith.
The New Living Translation captures it best when it says, love “never loses faith.”
We cannot love without having faith, a trust that there is Someone out there who has the power to intervene no matter what the situation is. If we do not have faith then love eventually will degenerate into desperation and then despair in the hard times.
Love that walks in faith cannot fall apart when the situation gets difficult because it is attached to a power that is stronger than the fragile framework of human emotion.
Love doesn’t trust the one it loves in all things. It trusts God in all things. So even when the one you love isn’t trustworthy or believable you can stick it out because you trust in the Great Power as you walk with your beloved through life.
Paul is not saying you parents should leave your daughter at home alone with her boyfriend because you have to trust the kids in order to show love. He is saying that even after the worst has happened and you are dealing with an unwanted pregnancy you can hold onto a positive attitude and walk in love towards your child. Faith can help you still believe the best even in the worst.
“Love never loses faith!” I cor. 13:7