“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” (1 Peter 4:8).
Love is first, foremost, superior to everything else (Matthew 22:34-40; 1 Corinthians 13:13). It must be fervent, intense, enthusiastic, unceasing because it will cover a multitude of sins. What we need more than anything else is to love God and to love one another from the heart fervently!
It is easy for us to criticize others. We all seem to be very quick to find fault in everybody else but ourselves (cf. Matthew 7:1-5). Seldom do we take the time to understand the underlying causes of their perceived weaknesses. If we knew more about their life, we might be more compassionate and if we were honest it might lead us to admit that we are no better (cf. Philippians 2:3-4). If we don’t want to be judged so harshly by others, then let’s be careful not to treat others that way.
It is hard for us to help others until we first humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. No one can argue with the fact that we all fall far short of His glory (Romans 3:23). Every one of us suffers from problems of the heart like anger, jealousy, pride and malice. Our tongue constantly slips. Time and time again we make mistakes with our life. “We all stumble in many things” (James 3:2). There is not a one of us who doesn’t need forgiveness, mercy, patience and love. So, let’s be careful to give these things to one another.
It is good for us to remember how we have been treated by God so that we will know how to treat others. God loved us when we were unlovable. He gave His Son for us while we were still sinners. He continues to help us though we often fail to be grateful. He never gives up on us even when we have given up on Him. There are a lot of angry, hurting, lost people who just need someone like you and me to love them just like we have been loved by God. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
My prayer for you and for me and for all of God’s people is what Paul expressed to the church in Thessalonica: “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all…” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135