Love Always Hopes, Always Perseveres

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 14, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“…always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV)
“…hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NKJV)

Love Always Hopes

Love always seeks the best in people and always strives for positive outcomes. In a sense, love is the action of an optimist. While many people are not at the pinnacle of their talents or potential, love strives to see that potential carried out. My testimony is a perfect illustration of how love always hopes.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum. I had numerous learning and physical difficulties in growing up, many of which the experts said I would have no hope of overcoming. Physically, I could not perform two activities such as sitting upright and eating at the same time. When I was six, I could walk (sort of) by pressing my knees together and putting my hands on them. Then I’d sort of waddle. My doctors said I would never run and to not expect any improvement. Each motion my body learned up until I was 15 had to be physically demonstrated by someone. Someone had to literally take my foot through the motion of kicking a soccer ball. There were numerous other issues that went along with that but I don’t have space to cover all of it here.

Mentally, I had no comprehension of sports or even reading comprehension skills until I was 12. I had no clue why you ran up and down the soccer field until then. I could tell you exactly what was on which page in a book but I could not tell you what was happening or why. I was exceptionally skilled with numbers, but unless something was numerically keyed, I was lost. My parents would often describe me as a “little Rain Man” referencing the movie with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman about two brothers, one who is very autistic, on a road trip. If the cross walk light would flash “Don’t walk,” I literally took that as “Don’t walk.”

My parents we well aware of my limitations and knew where my ceiling of talent was, but they had no intention of letting that ceiling stay low. So they pushed me and pushed me until I’d burn out. When my doctors and teachers kept trying to lower expectations for me including shrinking my spelling lists (despite the fact I had them memorized the moment I got the list because they were numbered), my parents were not interested in having me take basket weaving in high school because of coddling me so much. Instead they always held hope that I would break through, all the while recognizing where I was currently at.

I am a testimony of both God’s miraculous hand at work and of how love always hopes. Today, I have been in the sport of fencing for over 20 years, and am closing in on one year of coaching experience (most of which was volunteer but is now paid). While I am not the most skilled player in other sports, I can play at least decently. Whereas living on my own 15 years ago, let alone driving, was not even an option, now it is. At some point in the near future, my mom and I plan to co-write a biography detailing these issues about my growing up years, because people who look at me today would never guess I went through all those issues. Only those who knew me well as a child or have worked extensively with Asperger’s people can still see remnants of it. Love always hopes. I am living proof of that.

Love Always Perseveres

This ties in very closely to what I will write next week, so I will not spend a lot of time here on it. Love always perseveres. It always endures. It doesn’t quit and it doesn’t fail. When Jesus said, “I will never leave your nor forsake you,” this is persevering love. Love keeps going no matter how bad things get.

Love endures through the trials and the storms. It keeps going even in the midst of betrayal. One of the hallmarks of the millennial generation is a tendency to betray mentors, teachers, parents, and authorities. The moment something turns the way they don’t like, they reject their teachers. And it makes it very hard for said teachers to keep teaching, knowing that at any moment the students can turn on them. I work in the public school system and some of my students have said if there is a substitute they don’t like, they know how to get that sub fired. Love continues to love even in that danger or even after it happens. The pastor demonstrates persevering love when even after a congregation turns on him and forces him out, or causes a church fight/split, he continues to serve.

This type of love is not easy to carry out and can only be done because there is one who showed us persevering love: Jesus Christ. He was betrayed by one so trusted he was given charge of the money bag. He was abandoned repeatedly by fickle followers who only wanted his miracles but not the commitment required of dying to self and living only for him. His remaining closest friends each abandoned him only within a few hours of declaring they would never leave him. Peter denied even knowing him three times and some speculate Jesus may have been within hearing range of it. He was mocked and falsely charged by those he came to rescue. And yet as he hung on that cross, Jesus’ famous words were “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It is hard to find a truer statement because if Jesus’ enemies DID know what they were doing, they never would have crucified him. Jesus loved them anyway. That is persevering love.

Next week I will wrap up Paul’s description of love with how it never fails, and in two weeks I will conclude this series and 2018 with how love is the greatest of these.

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