1 Corinthians 13:7
Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The real meaning of the word is "concealeth." It does the very thing which it is always asking God to do, hides its face from, and shuts its eyes to, the sins of others. It is charity which applies to itself what it asks of God in the Miserere, and in the De profundis. It turns away its face from the sins of others, and in that deep of God's love it buries and conceals them.
1. It is terrible to think what a keen eye we have for each other's faults. It is sad to think how clever we are at ferreting them out, either for our own or for our neighbour's amusement. Even the dead are sometimes not suffered to rest unmolested in their graves. True it is that they are out of the reach of the tongue of slander or uncharitableness, but the sin is not the less great for all that.
2. Now charity, so far from injuring the reputation of any person by exposing their faults, not only conceals them, but protects these very persons, and interposes a shield, as it were, between them and the attack of their enemies. The very meaning of the word protect is to hide or conceal, by interposing some object between one who would seek to injure another. No doubt, from time to time, cases will arise where faults have to be brought to light and plainly told. But we must make quite sure that it is our business to find them out, and when we do speak, to be careful that we are not gratifying any prejudice of our own.
3. But to bear all things, in the sense of concealing the faults of others, is indeed to have a Christ-like spirit. It is to resemble Him very closely. It is to walk very closely in His loving footsteps. When need arose our gentle Lord was stern and strong in His reproofs. But how often He passes over faults! How ready He is to make excuses for or to conceal or hide them! Let two instances alone suffice: first, in the case of the woman taken in the deadliest of deadly sins. Then, again, on the Cross.
(J. B. Wilkinson, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.