I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible, edited and compiled by Alistair Begg.
This piece was written by the CSB editorial team.
How does love shape our leadership?
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul reminds us that love is essential to fruitful Christian living. And Paul is not just talking about marriages. He’s talking about how we use our spiritual gifts for the good of the church—gifts like leadership.
To help us understand what it looks like to live out Christian love, Charles Spurgeon unpacks 1 Corinthians 13:7: “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Let’s look at what each part of this verse shows us about love and what this means for our leadership.
1. Love bears all things.
Here’s how Spurgeon explains the first phrase:
“The word rendered ‘bear’ might as correctly have been translated ‘covers.’ This love both covers and bears all things. It never proclaims the errors of others. It refuses to see faults unless it may kindly help in their removal. It stands in the presence of a fault with a finger on its lips. It does not attempt to make a catalog of provocations.”
Instead of pointing out other people’s errors, love passes over them—unless it can do something to graciously help people grow.
2. Love believes all things.
“In reference to our fellow Christians, love always believes the best of them. This love believes good of others as long as it can, and when it is forced to fear that wrong has been done, love will not readily yield to evidence but will give the accused brother or sister the benefit of many doubts. Some persons habitually believe everything that is bad about others; they are not the children of love.”
Cynicism is not weathered wisdom. It’s not realism. It is unloving.
But this does not mean we should ignore real problems. As Christians, we are called to “be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.” We lean into lovingly believing the best in others, but we also need to institute safeguards to love people by helping to prevent abuse.
3. Love hopes all things.
Love never despairs. We should never despair of our fellow Christians. As to the unconverted, we will never do anything with them unless we hope great things about them. We need to cultivate great hopefulness about sinners.”
As we lead our families and organizations, what would it look like for us to hope all things for our friends and family? To keep loving a rebellious child, an unbelieving friend, or a church member who keeps stumbling back into sin?
4. Love endures all things.
“This refers to a patient perseverance in loving. This is, perhaps, the hardest work of all, for many people can be affectionate and patient for a time, but the task is to hold on year after year. In reference to our fellow Christians, love holds out under all rebuffs. We endure not some things but all things for Christ’s sake. As to the unconverted, they may shut their ears and refuse to hear us—never mind, we can endure all things.”
Notice one key phrase here: “for Christ’s sake.” Enduring in love is really hard. So are bearing all things, hoping all things, and believing all things. We cannot do this on our own.
But our Savior, who endured humiliation and agony for us and who loves us completely, is eager to help us love one another sincerely and faithfully.
Find more of Spurgeon’s commentary on the Scriptures, plus 20 of his lost sermons, in the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible. The CSB Spurgeon Study Bible features thousands of excerpts from Spurgeon’s sermons, selected and edited by Alistair Begg in order to bring the richness of the Prince of Preachers’ insights into your daily study of God’s Word.
Click here, or register in the form below by 11:59p.m. tonight, October 25, 2017 for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible. We will be in contact with the winners in the next few days.