When Did Love Stop Hoping All Things?

When Did Love Stop Hoping All Things?

We’ve all been there: The Fam­ily tak­ing a peace­ful drive some­where. All is going smoothly. Dad is at the wheel, with Mom sit­ting by his side in the front seat. Con­ver­sa­tions flow­ing, per­haps some music playing.

Then it hap­pens. “MOM!!! He’s touch­ing me!”

The crime of the century.

And you know what we do, right? We do the prover­bial eye roll and say, “Stop touch­ing her and get on your own side of the car.” Just like our moms always said to us.

We typ­i­cally don’t actu­ally deal with the issue at hand because 1. it’s eas­ier to just tell them to stop touch­ing each other, and 2. it’s how we were trained to han­dle this par­tic­u­lar conflict.

And so it goes into other areas of life. In the end, we just want Johnny to stop touch­ing us and get on his own side of the car. It’s less messy that way.

Or is it?

We see this in the church, too, I think. We are so eas­ily offended by each other for any and every infrac­tion. Even the imag­ined ones. “They” are obvi­ously out to touch us, so we are on the look­out for any hint of a hand near­ing our side of the car.  They sneak up when we aren’t pay­ing as close atten­tion. And we often ASSUME mal-intent, rather than love. This is espe­cially true if we have been hurt before.

The truth is, they usu­ally aren’t think­ing a thing about us, but in the flurry of liv­ing life, their hand swings glee­fully in our direc­tion. Not in mis­chie­vous­ness, but in the joy of life. And yet, we cry out to Mom again in anguish at our obvi­ous abuse.

Some­times we deal with the con­flict because it’s what we are sup­posed to be doing, but so often we con­fess, for­give, and then get back on our own sides of the car. Back to look­ing for him to touch us again so we can cry foul.

What hap­pened to hop­ing all things? What hap­pened to for­give­ness that actu­ally has teeth? You know. I for­give you and now let’s go play. Not, I for­give you, but that is just what I have to say because it is the right thing to say, but I don’t mean any­thing by it. I’m the big­ger per­son, and now go get back on your side of the car and don’t touch me again. I don’t really like you, or trust you, or want to be your friend (or brother or sis­ter). And I don’t love you.

Even though in Christ we are com­manded to love.

And love is not rude. And it hopes all things.

I’m exhausted from the grudges. I’m tired of feel­ing like we will never have peace. I’m tired of being sus­pi­cious, and hurt, and in the mid­dle. Why can’t we all just stop sin­ning so much? And when we do sin, embrace the cross and be washed by the beau­ti­ful and per­fect blood of the Lamb? Why must we keep score? And expect hurt and sor­row? And begrudge it?

Who says we have any right to hold onto hurt? Where in the Bible do you find that we don’t have to restore rela­tion­ships, that it is okay to hate each other?

We see inter­net fights amongst Chris­tians of dif­fer­ent fla­vors and the­o­log­i­cal bents. We see blog­gers going at each other “to warn the flock.” What on earth must the unsaved souls think of our Lord’s bride? Why aren’t we ashamed of ourselves?

Let’s sit closely together. And let’s hold hands. Roll down the win­dows, and sing at the top of our lungs. Let’s learn to love again. God has given us to each other for edi­fi­ca­tion, to exhort one another, for encour­age­ment. We are God’s gift to one another. Don’t despise your broth­ers and sisters.

Come on over and sit on my side of the car. And please for­give me if I acci­den­tally (or pur­pose­fully) touch you. It’s going to hap­pen. Some­times my hands just wave about aim­lessly in the liv­ing. We won’t always agree. We won’t always see eye to eye. Some­times I will be wrong on this doc­trine or that. And some­times you will be.

But Scrip­ture is clear: They will know we are Chris­tians by our love. (John 13:35)

Photo credit

I’ve linked up here: A Wise Woman Builds Her HomeDeep Roots at Home,  Sim­ply Help­ing Him& Titus 2 Tues­days. Go check them out for more links to other blogs you might enjoy.


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  1. Great anal­ogy! Good book to read — The Bait of Satan. It is all about being eas­ily offended and how Satan loves to divide us that way!

    • Hi Tonya,
      You’ve men­tioned that book to me before, I think. I need to add it to my bot­tom­less stack of books to read. It sounds really good.

  2. It is okay to be hurt, but not to hold onto it. That is when it turns into bit­ter­ness and hate.

    • You are so right! We can be hurt, but we ought not hold on to it. We can’t help being hurt some­times. It hap­pens. But, when we stay there in the hurt and that bit­ter­ness takes root, we are in trou­ble. We aren’t meant to live life like that. We can be free from it by choos­ing to lay it at the cross and for­give. Just as we’ve been forgiven.


  3. So true. Well said! We must be aware of the wiles of the devil, and we must trea­sure the peo­ple God puts into our lives. They’re MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD! That makes each one very spe­cial. We need to see the value of oth­ers and know that each encounter is a God-ordained moment for us to love one another.

    • Such an impor­tant aspect to it, Janet! We are made in the image of God. And that annoy­ing per­son who keeps TOUCHING us and get­ting into our space is also made in God’s image. And the free­dom and joy we have when we will just stop fight­ing for our rights and our space is so beau­ti­ful! Why do we still strug­gle against it? Thanks for that reminder. I hope I remem­ber it next time I am tempted to not hope all things.


  4. Ouch! As we fail so many ways in rela­tion­ships, praise the Lord for the hard choice of per­se­ver­ance in love. It’s not an easy choice! Very encour­ag­ing Tonya, thank you!

  5. This is so timely for me and an excel­lent reminder. When we take the bait and become drawn into strife of any sort, it only makes the evil one laugh. We end up the loser and makes Christ Jesus look bad. When I think about it like that, I can see the way out of con­flict so much more eas­ily! Your car ride illus­tra­tion reminds me of the days when the chil­dren were always pok­ing and argu­ing. I’m so glad they love each other now!
    Tonya, I hope all is set­tled down after the fire. I have thought of you all so much!
    So glad to have you share on the Link-up…can’t wait to see more of you :)

  6. Heather Pickle says:

    Tonya, that was beau­ti­ful and very convicting!

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