1 Peter 4:8
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’”
Here’s the truth — loving others is challenging. God designed it that way. Love, as He defines it, is meant to be a powerful witness of His character and His love. In the early Church, believers were a stark contrast to the rest of the world because their hearts were ablaze with love for one another. Now that’s easy when all is good and right in our corner of the world, but sometimes the greatest challenge to love comes when we’ve been wronged; when loving doesn’t seem reasonable. It’s in those times that His agape love flowing from us shows the world a better way.
What just might be the greatest display of love outside of giving up your life for someone, is for you to give someone your forgiveness. The Lord is not asking us to feel fervent love, but to live it. You may shout, “but it isn’t fair!” and you would be right. Love isn’t fair. Just ask Jesus. On the Cross, the innocent died for the guilty; definitely not fair, but incredibly powerful. When you’re caught in the middle of a conflict and you choose to love like Jesus, it reaches others at a practical level that words alone cannot. These words sum this up well: “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words.”
The Lord is not asking us to feel fervent love, but to live it.
Witnessing to others isn’t the only thing that fervent love does; Peter promises that it “will cover a multitude of sins.” Covering never condones or excuses sin, but it does lessen its effect. And forgiveness brings freedom. Freedom to live life fully with joy. Now that’s something the world needs to see.
“Beloved, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
Awaiting His return,
– Pastor Jack