In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says that there is only one stat that ultimately matters in your walk with God - one thing that that truly tells the world who you are, and that is your love (or lack thereof). The real question is, how do I grow in love? What does love look like? What does love do, and what does it not do? What is love?
9. Love Sees The Deepest Truth
My dad is a high school football coach and has been for over 30 years. A big part of his job is seeing potential in people that no one else sees, and that they don’t yet see in themselves. His job is to believe in someone and then bring that potential to life by training them in the right way. In some ways, it’s kind of like a speculator or a gambler. Sometimes Dad is right about an athlete no one else believed in who turns out to be this amazing player, and sometimes the doubters are right and these guys flake out and don’t produce.
In your relationships, you may sometimes feel like my dad does as a high school football coach - it may feel like you’re betting on people and you don’t know what they’re going to end up like. You invest in folks and some of them wind up being your best friends while others may betray you, embarrass you or take advantage of you, hurting you deeply. The question is, what are you supposed to do when someone really screws up? How are you supposed to see a relationship that didn’t pan out like you hoped it would?
The last thing Paul said about love is that it doesn’t keep score of wrongs - it forgives the way God does. He then goes onto say this: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
Okay, let’s be honest: When someone hurts us, we want to see them hurt back, right? If someone lets us down, we want to see them crash and burn. If someone out-does us, there is a place in our hearts that wants to see them struggle, fall and fail. It’s not right and it’s not pretty, but dang - that’s who we are. If someone tells us a story about that person in a bad light, we have a private little party in our hearts. On the outside, we’re playing it cool, but in our minds, it’s like our favorite team has just won the Super Bowl - or rather that our least favorite team has lost the Super Bowl…
Paul says love doesn’t do that. He says that love does something different. Love isn’t excited when someone crashes and burns. Love isn’t hoping someone will burn out, and when they do, love doesn’t throw a private, mental party. Love acts in a totally different way, but it’s not like a gambler or a speculator. In other words, loving people isn’t about just looking at someone and betting on them that they will do better next time. Love isn’t like a football coach, hoping against hope that this person will prove everyone wrong. No, love isn’t betting at all. Love knows.
Paul says love rejoices in the truth. Here’s what that means: Imagine there is a piece of land for sale that no one wants because it looks terrible and is in a bad location that seems impossible to develop. For years and years, no one buys it. No one is willing to invest in it because it looks terrible. But, there is a geologist who has this really cool equipment that is able to look under the surface and tell him all kinds of amazing stuff about this land. He finds out that this land is sitting on top of oil or a gold mine or even buried treasure. The land still looks terrible, but that geologist invests in it anyway because he is able to look under the surface at a deeper truth.
That’s what love does. Love sees the surface stuff just like everyone else, but love is able to look under the surface. Love is able to see that there are deeper truths to a person. There are riches underground. Love knows that there are certain things that are true about every single person: That God loves them - that Jesus died for them - That God has a plan for their life and when He gets hold of them, He can and will change them completely. Love doesn’t want people to fail. Love always sees the deepest truth - the truest truth. Love sees everyone with the eyes of God.