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“Love Always Trusts”

A Short Commentary On 1 Corinthians 13:7[b]

by Dr. Eitan Bar
2 minutes read

The Greek term translated as “trusts” is “pisteuō,” often used in the New Testament to denote belief or faith. In the context of Paul’s message, this concept emphasizes not a naive or blind trust but a choice to always see at least some potential for good in others and to have faith in them even when evidence suggests otherwise. It involves giving others the benefit of the doubt and believing in their capacity for growth and redemption, no matter how badly they have fallen in life.

In the early Christian community at Corinth, trust might have been hard to come by, with divisions and competitive behavior fracturing the church. Paul’s call to “always trust” was a directive to strive for unity and coherence through a shared belief in each member’s potential to contribute positively to the community. This instruction was not just about interpersonal relationships but also about fostering a culture of trust that could strengthen the communal bonds necessary for a thriving church.

This teaching reflects how Jesus interacted with those around him. Jesus demonstrated trust in the potential of his disciples despite their frequent misunderstandings and failures. He entrusted them with his teachings and, ultimately, the mission to build the church and spread the gospel after his resurrection. Even when Peter denied him, Jesus later reaffirmed Peter, showing a profound trust in his ability to lead despite his earlier betrayal. Choosing to trust means choosing to forgive and move on. In Jesus’ eyes, Peter wasn’t a traitor but a cornerstone upon which the church would be built (Matthew 16:18)!

Love challenges us to cultivate relationships characterized by faith in one another’s intentions and capabilities. This approach to trust is particularly significant in a world where cynicism often prevails. Choosing to trust—even partially—can help break down barriers of suspicion and foster environments where open communication and genuine collaboration are possible.

Applying this in everyday life means choosing to believe the best about people rather than assuming or jumping to negative conclusions. It means cultivating empathy and the ability to see others’ perspectives. It involves supporting loved ones in their endeavors, offering encouragement instead of skepticism, and working to rebuild trust where it has been damaged. This doesn’t mean ignoring reality or failing to recognize when trust is broken but rather committing to a posture of restoration and hope in relationships.

Ultimately, “love always trusts” is about affirming the worth and reliability of others, inspiring them to live up to the trust we place in them. This active, hopeful trust can transform personal interactions and build stronger, more resilient communities, reflecting the trusting nature of Jesus’ love for humanity.

Consider the scenario of someone released from prison. Instead of perpetually viewing them through the lens of their past crimes, embodying “love always trusts” encourages us to see them as individuals capable of change and growth. By supporting their reintegration and trusting in their ability to reform, we not only help in their personal transformation but also contribute to the societal shift towards a more forgiving and inclusive community.

Moreover, when extended to the justice system, the influence of kindness and sacrifice turns the focus to rehabilitation rather than retribution, emphasizing society’s commitment to recovery and reintegration. Thus, these acts not only serve as practical applications of love but also as spiritual disciplines that elevate both the individual and the community, aligning human actions with the noble ideals of God’s kingdom.

This article is from my book, “The Theology of Love: Christianity’s Most Underrated Doctrine.

The Theology of Love

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Dr. Eitan Bar
Author, Theologian, Activist