Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: 1 Corinthians 13 Appended
[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
things. —1 Corinthians 13:7
In 1860, Thomas Inman recom- mended that his fellow doctors not prescribe a
medicine for a cure if they weren’t sure it would work. They were to give the
patient “the benefit of our doubts.” This phrase is also a legal term meaning
that if a jury has conflicting evidence that makes the jurors doubtful, they
are to give the verdict of “not guilty.”
Perhaps as Christians, we can learn from and apply this medical and legal
phrase to our relationships. Better yet, we can learn from the Bible about
giving the benefit of the doubt to others. First Corinthians 13:7 says that love
“bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Leon Morris, in the Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, says this about the
phrase “believes all things”: “To see the best in others . . . . This does not
mean that love is gullible, but that it does not think the worst (as is the way
of the world). It retains its faith. Love is not deceived . . . but it is
always ready to give the benefit of the doubt.”
When we hear something negative about others or we’re suspicious about the
motive for their actions, let’s stop before we judge their intentions as wrong
or bad. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. —Anne Cetas
Love gives others the benefit of the doubt.
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am
only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love,
I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I
may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where
there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to
face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these
1. 1 Corinthians 13:1 Or languages
2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 Some manuscripts body to the flames
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.