4th, Love “bears all things” (v. 7, ESV). “Bears” is from stegei, “put up with” (Concise Greek-English Dictionary, s. v. στεγει); “to put up with annoyance or difficulty” (Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. στεγει) It is present tense. We are to bear all things constantly.
It is the same word used by Paul in 1 Cor. 9:12, “But we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:12, ESV, emaphasis added). Paul was talking about their apostolic right to be paid for their ministry. But he did not require a salary for his services. He put up with anything rather than put an obstacle to the Gospel. (Sometimes, Pastors who do not ask for more support, even though they really need it, is really enduring everything. That’s why we should support them all the more!)
To bear is to endure irritating situations and difficult people. What annoys you? Who irritates you? What exasperates you? One day, I was busy preparing my sermon when my little girl came up to show me her drawings. I was annoyed a little. But the Spirit of God caused in me the ability to put up with that disturbance.
If you can put up with difficult things and people (!), then that is agape love!
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