Love bears all things, believes all things, - 1 Corinthians 13:7a (ESV)
It was another beautiful spring day and this time Randy didn't need to work at the office. His sermon was finished and he now had time to get his garden planted. After spending most of the morning pushing a tiller through the black dirt, Randy decided it was time to take a break and have a tall cold glass of lemonade.
As he stood looking over the freshly tilled dirt, Bernadette came running up to him breathing really hard. After giving her a couple minutes to catch her breath Randy asked her if he could help her. “What are you doing?” Bernadette asked almost as if she was scolding him. “Just standing here drinking some ice cold lemonade.” Randy answered, “Would you like some?”
“You're not planting a garden, are you?” Bernadette asked, “Please tell me you're not.” “Of course I'm planting a garden, Bernadette,” Randy replied, “I do it every year. This year I'm panning on planting corn and potatoes and onions and carrots and beans and..” “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” Bernadette screamed when she heard that cutting Randy off in mid sentence.
“What's wrong, Bernadette?” Randy asked, “Are you okay?” “We're all doomed.” Bernadette muttered, “You planted a garden and now their going to come.” “Who's coming?” Randy asked. “The ... Giant ... June ... Bugs.” Bernadette said, “Their bigger than a moose.” “Did you see one?”, Randy asked, “Or are you making this up?”
“I'm not making it up.” Bernadette pleaded, “It’s true. Harold told me all about them. He said he even saw one. He said they come every time you plant a garden and then, then, then, they destroy everything. We’re doomed. And it’s all your fault.” “Are you sure Harold isn’t making this up to get out of planting his own garden.” Randy asked almost positive Harold was.
“Harold would never do that.” Bernadette pleaded, “He loves food too much. He said he heard all about them from his friend Bert.” “I didn't know Harold had any friends.” Randy injected, but Bernadette continued, “He said they came from outer space and there is nothing in the world that will stop them. He said they came back from the moon a the space shuttle.”
“Space shuttle.” Randy said. “Now I know Harold is making this up. The space shuttle doesn’t even go to the moon.” “It doesn't?” Bernadette asked a bit puzzled. “Tell me” Randy said, “Do you believe everything you here?” “Of course not.” Bernadette cheerfully answered, “I only believe the believable stuff.” “Like space monsters?” Randy asked. “Yeah.” Bernadette answered.
“If I don’t believe everything I could get in trouble.” Bernadette said after thinking about what she had just said yeah too. “One time my mom told me veggies were good for me. I didn’t believe that and I got in trouble so...” “I think you need to go practice some discernment to figure out who is telling the truth. And I need to get back to my garden.” “I'll try.” Bernadette said as she started to leave, “But I'm still keeping my eyes open for those Giant June Bugs.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 tells us that love believes all things. If we are to experience and share God's love are we really suppose to believe everything? Are there times when we shouldn't believe things? In Matthew 24:23 Jesus says “if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it.” (ESV) Jesus talks of times when we are not to believe. When it comes to everyday life, there ends up being times when we should believe and we don't and times we shouldn't and we do like in this old Aesop fable.
There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the foot of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so he thought upon a plan by which he could get a little company and some excitement. He rushed down towards the village calling out “Wolf, Wolf,” and the villagers came out to meet him, and some of them stopped with him for a considerable time. This pleased the boy so much that a few days afterwards he tried the same trick, and again the villagers came to his help. But shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the forest, and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out “Wolf, Wolf,” still louder than before. But this time the villagers, who had been fooled twice before, thought the boy was again deceiving them, and nobody stirred to come to his help. So the Wolf made a good meal off the boy’s flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the village said: “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”
While the focus of this story tends to be the boy who cried wolf, I tell it because of those who refused to believe the boy after they had been lied to several times. In a way, they failed to show love, they failed to over look the wrong, they failed to forgive.
In the Greek, the word translated believe has the idea of thinking something to be true, to place confidence in, to trust someone. To be able to do that when we have been lied to we need to be able to forgive.
- Luke 17:3-4 - Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (HCSB)
- Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (NCV)
When someone becomes untrustworthy, unbelievable, yes, they may need to change but we need to be willing to believe, and trust if we are to love and that may mean putting the past aside.
Here's Something To Ponder
- What are you willing to believe even when it is unbelievable?
- How do you react when others fail to believe you when you are telling the truth?