July 31, 2021
Scripture: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 ESV
Observation: As Peter expresses closing thoughts in this first letter to the church, he echoes the overarching command of his Master: love one another (John 13:34). But this is not sentimental love. Peter, like Jesus, cites the Greek word for godly love, “agape,” to remind us of how the Son covered over our sins by offering his life as a living sacrifice. While we are to earnestly (or eagerly) show this kind of sacrificial love toward fellow Christians, it does not mean that our actions will atone for others’ sins. Peter is quoting from the wisdom literature (Proverbs 10:12) in which Solomon refers to a love that “covers over all offenses” in contrast to hatred which “stirs up strife.”
Takeaway: Our acts of godly love combat the spread of sin. How so? Paul eloquently provides the action-oriented attributes of godly, sacrificial love (1 Corinthian 13:4-6). It is patient, kind, and does not insist on its way. It refrains from boasting and is not arrogant, rude, irritable, or resentful. Lastly, love rejoices in the revealing of truth rather than the exposure of wrongdoing. In short, by following the way of our Savior, we suffer in silence and “bear all things” (1 Cor 13:7) for the sake of others because we know the forgiving grace of our Lord.
Prayer: Father God, grant us humility, gratitude, and grace to express your sacrificial love to fellow believers when they struggle with sin, that we might help stop its advance. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling