„Love is always supportive…“ ( 1 Corinthians 13:7/Contemporary English Version)
As I have done in studying previous verses, I again have been looking at a list of all English translations printed out from BibleGateway.com. The Contemporary English Version is copyrighted by the American Bible Society. You can get more information about this version on the website of Bible Gateway. You might also purchase a copy of that translation from there.
I wrote: “You can either be a roof over something or somebody or you might be a wall or a structure that carries a roof. Today I want to ask the question: What kind of roofing would you and I like to have above ourselves?”
For the first section of verse 7 I have chosen a feature image of a small hut with a tyled roof. This is going to remind you of the root of that Greek word, as long as I am going to deal with this part of the verse.
Now the translation I have quoted above seems to fit in well with this imagery of a building that carries a roof. You might say “the walls carry a roof” or perhaps also “the walls support a roof”.
What has love to do with carrying? Perhaps you might think of first aid or of nursing. People who for physical reasons are unable to walk by themselves at times may need to be literally carried. Or think of a little baby that is carried about by his or her parents.
We also say we carry or we bear somebody (in a metaphoric sense) thinking of somebody who is burdensome to us. Yet the word “burdensome” is a negative expression. It implies thinking something negative about somebody else.
I like the rendering of the CEV: “Love is always supportive”. Being supportive requires a positive attitude.
Being supportive would mean helping others be and become the best they can be. It implies helping others grow and mature.
Parents or teachers need to develop that attitude of supporting those entrusted to them. Yet being positive and supportive can also facilitate matters in the work place.
This kind of attitude will enhance any form of relationship or friendship. Please not that Paul in writing these words would have thought of interactions in a church setting!