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Charity…Believeth All Things
Victor M. Eskew
A. The ship came back from its voyage and the shrouds and the tackle were heavily damaged.
1. The owners of the ship were very quick to blame the captain for the damage.
2. Thomas Carlyle came to Robert Burns aid with these words: “…but to know how blameworthy, tell us first whether the voyage has been around the Globe, or only to Ramsgate and the Isle of Dogs.”
B. Thomas Carlyle was practicing charity. He exhibited the quality of love that is stated as: “Charity…Believeth All Things.”
C. We live in a society that is very selfish and very evil.
1. Most of us are highly suspicious of others.
2. It is very difficult for us to put trust in others, even in Christians.
D. Paul tells us that charity “believeth all things.”
1. Let’s define the characteristic.
2. Then, let’s look at some Bible examples of this quality of love.
3. Lastly, let’s make some application of this element of love to our lives.
I. THE DEFINITION OF BELIEVETH ALL THINGS
A. Strong (4100): to have faith in
B. Thayer: to think to be true, to be persuaded of…place confidence in…to entrust a thing to one, i.e, his fidelity
C. Robertson: not gullible, but has faith in man
a. Easily deceived or cheated
b. Easily tricked or taken in
2. The line between “believing all things” and being gullible can be a very fine line.
1. KJV: believeth all things
2. ASV: believeth all things
3. NKJV: believes all things
4. NASV: believes all things
5. ESV: believes all things
6. NIV: always trusts
7. NLT: never loses trust
8. Phillips: no end to its trust
9. MSG: trusts God always
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF BELIEVETH ALL THINGS
A. Barnabas believed in Saul of Tarsus.
1. In the regions of Jersualem and Judaea, the Christians were skeptical of Saul after his conversion (Acts 9:26).
2. Barnabas “believed” in Saul and stood up for him (Acts 9:27).
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
B. Barnabas believed in John Mark (Acts 15:36-39).
And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought it not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus.
C. Philemon was asked to believe in Onesimus after his conversion (Phil. 1:10-12).
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is mine own bowels.
1. Onesimus was a slave who had run away from Philemon.
2. When he left Philemon, he may have stolen some things from his master (Phil. 1:18).
3. Paul exhorted Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother in Christ.
4. Would he? Paul believed he would (See v. 21).
Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
III. APPLICATION OF BELIEVETH ALL THINGS
A. Love is not automatically suspicious of others.
1. “Love always trusts. Love sets aside suspicions and doubt” (Parrott, 74).
2. “…but it does mean that it is not suspicious, that it is entirely alien to the spirit of the cynic…” (Scroggie, 30).
3. What make people suspicious?
a. Violations of trust in the past
b. Attributing qualities of a group of people to one in the group (i.e., youth are reckless, impulsive, and lazy).
B. One is innocent until proven guilty.
1. “Is ever ready to believe the best of every person, and will credit no evil of any but on the most positive evidence…” (e-sword, Clarke).
2. “Love takes the best and kindest view of men, in all circumstances, as long as it is possible to do so” (Scroggie, 30).
C. Does not jump to negative conclusions.
1. We do this when we assume the “why” of another’s actions before we investigate.
2. “But it must mean, that in regard to the conduct of others, there is a disposition to put the best construction on it; to believe that they may be actuated by good motives, and that they intend no injury; and that there is a willingness to suppose, as far as can be, that what is done is done consistently with friendship, good feeling, and virtue” (e-sword, Barnes).
D. Love takes the best possible interpretations.
E. Love never attributes ulterior motives to another’s actions.
F. Love “…gladly receives whatever may tend to the advantage of any person who character may have suffered from obloquy and destruction; or even justly, because of his conduct” (e-sword, Clarke).
G. Other points to consider:
1. There seems to be a fine line between a love that believes all things and being gullible.
a. Believing means that we must put our trust in another.
b. If the person violates our trust three or four times, we believe that we have been gullible.
2. There is nothing wrong with “proving” and “verifying.”
a. Before a man is hired for a job, we call his references.
b. Before putting a man a man into a position of power, we give him smaller tasks to see how he/she performs.
3. When we know others are out to harm us, we do not have to believe their lies and hypocrisy.
a. Nehemiah did not “believe” Shemiah (Neh. 6:10-14).
b. Jesus confronted the kiss of Judas (Luke 22:47-48).
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
A. All of us have been wounded by others in the past. This keeps us from trusting others. This is part of Satan’s attack on love. He does not want us to think that we can trust anyone.
B. Let’s seek to put away the hurt, and continue to love others by believing all things.