What Agape Love Does Well
Paul, writing to the Corinthians, made four powerful statements, which give us guidelines for loving today:
Love bears all things. The Greek word Paul used means "to cover, to pass over in silence, to keep confidential." Another translation puts it, "Love throws a cloak of silence over what is displeasing in another person" (Arndt-Gingerich Greek Lexicon). Florence Alshorn learned this when she was sent to Uganda by the Church Mission Society in 1920 to work with a senior missionary. The missionary was a very moody old woman, the only one who knew the language. Instead of quitting, Florence was changed by God after reading 1 Corinthians 13 and praying for the missionary every day.
Love believes all things. This explains why the mother of a criminal almost always says, "I can't believe this about my son. He's such a good boy!"
Love hopes all things. In the face of the greatest odds, love hopes that everything will turn out all right. Love hopes that the cancer will respond to the chemotherapy, that your lost child will be found, and that the one you love will be waiting for you when you return.
Love endures all things. Paul uses a military word which means "to sustain the assault of an enemy" or "to remain instead of fleeing... to stand one's ground, hold out, endure" in trouble, affliction, or persecution. It was used of an outpost under enemy attack, but those defending the outpost dug in and withstood the attack instead of retreating.
This agape love isn't just the warm, make-you-feel-good emotion but raw, sinewy, strong kind of love that makes a big difference in our world.
Love.... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:7, NASB