1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,…
I. SUFFERS LONG. The Greek denotes having the power "to hold the mind long," i.e., it is the opposite to rash anger. There are persons who, when they are afflicted by Providence, or provoked by man, are unable to hold their minds. Like the water which has mastered the dam, so do some men's unhappy feelings rise and overspread their families and neighbourhood. But when one has failed in his duty towards the charitable man it may grieve him, but he seeks for grace to bear the trial. He holds his mind long; and while not forgetful of the demands of justice, is influenced by the spirit of forgiveness.
II. IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED. If a man's spirit be fully imbued with an affectionate complacency towards God and man, he is not thrown into bitter resentments by unjust usage. He is "slow to wrath." Provocations must and will arise. The state of the health, mind, temperature, circumstances, will make a man more disposed to fretfulness or reserve, one day than another. "Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" A family pique has overthrown an empire, and a bodily sensation directed the course and given the feeling to a man's life! But the spirit of the charitable man does not soon become acid. His injured feelings do not ferment into vinegar.
III. BEARETH ALL THINGS, or "covereth all things." "Hatred stirreth up strife, but love covereth all sins." As you would conceal a defect in your person, or cover up what was offensive on your grounds, so does the spirit of the gospel lead us to hide a brother's infirmities from the animadversion of others. The spirit of envy and revenge would lead you to speak of the misconduct of others with exasperated feelings. But here an objection has arisen. "How unmanly is this charity which you commend! Are we then to be trampled upon? "Not so: love can feel injured, and seek redress, but not recklessly and bitterly; and when in pursuit of her rights she is all the while calm and kind and universally benevolent.
IV. ENDURETH ALL THINGS. Christian love remains under its burdens. Bad usage from man and affliction from God it teaches us to sustain. Let the conduct of Christ illustrate the spirit of His own religion. He was not impatient with the ignorant, or revengeful upon His persecutors.
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,