1 Peter 4:8 Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others. ~~ Amplified
Love ~~ There it is again; that word. And it’s not standing alone as a “side note” where I can ignore it or pretend it’s not there. In the New Living Translation it’s preceded by the descriptive word deep. In the Amplified Translation the descriptive word is unfailing. In both cases I am given specific instructions on how to love.
As I read my daily devotional and this verse kept drawing me back like magnets to my eyes, I knew there was more to it than just words. And that’s when I know it’s God speaking to me because He knows how much loving others can be a challenge for me at times; sometimes it’s a downright struggle. Anyone out there slap me a “high five” on this one? But to enforce with deep and unfailing ~~ well, that’s just going a little bit beyond the comfy zone of normal operations here.
Love is a verb; an action word. Something we actively do. Contrary to popular culture and the lyrics of many songs, love is not a mere feeling ~~ that’s actually “infatuation.” Like indigestion and gas, it eventually passes. But love remains as long as the giver continues to actively give.
In these two Scripture verses, God gives the command to love deeply and without fail. In my pea-sized brain, that says, authentically, sincerely, genuinely, and without ceasing. These words transcend the mere surface of my daily “fluctuating” moods and emotions. These words now say, “Put others first in love.”
“God, You’re really asking a lot from me here ~~ I can’t do this well. I can barely do this when I want to, much less “all the time,” and with such fervency and dedication. I’m going to need Your Divine Help on this one.”
I must admit to those moments and days where it just does NOT seem like the love of God is flowing through me ~~ that awful instant when someone catches me off guard with an off the cuff remark then “BAM!” A “triggering memory” lights an ember and soon the entire world is ablaze! Yes, there ARE those ugly and embarrassing moments. If God were the only Person in the Audience I might be able to recover faster. But rarely the case, and there’s usually at least one or two additional onlookers. UGH! Anyone else KNOW this feeling? These are THOSE TIMES when calling upon His Strength must become the “first response” or “automatic reflex.” I can honestly say from experience that practice makes it better, Girlfriend ~~ and if you’re willing, God will provide every learning opportunity ~~ every practice session.
So if I’m putting the needs of others first, then I’m being obedient to the Call of Christ to love deeply. This requires me to put an end to what I “selfishly want” or think I might “receive” from the relationship and simply love because God says to reach out to my sisters and brothers ~~ loving so that they see Christ in me and grow closer to Him.
“How can doing all this cover a multitude of sins?” HMMMM! How many times have I screwed up in a friendship? How many apologies have I not offered? How many offenses have I thrown out? I ~ I ~ I get it, Lord! As Christ’s love has covered the multitude of my sins, so I should love enough to cover (not “conceal” but rather to heal) any offenses that have been hurled in my direction.
2 Peter 1:7-11 to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. For if you possess these traits and multiply them, then you will never be ineffective or unproductive in your relationship with our Lord Jesus the Anointed; but if you don’t have these qualities, then you will be nearsighted and blind, forgetting that your past sins have been washed away. Therefore, brothers and sisters, work that much harder to confirm that God has called you and claimed you. If you do this, then you will never fall along the way; and you can be sure that you will be richly welcomed into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. ~~ The Voice
Well now, I’d say that’s a “wrap!”
“Lord, help me to love so deeply that You are seen though me. Help me to remain humble so that the Power of Your Love overwhelms my soul and brings to remembrance Your generous and merciful forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~