1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
I used to say that I didn’t need friends. I mean I have some friends but I never really opened my heart truly to them. I would always hold back, wondering if they were judging me. I had to take a hard look at myself thinking if I thought they were judging me, maybe I was judging them. I’ve said before that it’s easier to judge someone else’s sin than to take care of our own.
I think that we are meant to know and love people, I think that we always need to have discernment about who we should have accountability with in our lives, the bible says in Proverbs 18:24 There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (NLT) I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. There was someone who I trusted, and I really thought they were trust worthy, only to discover that not only did they tell others the things I shared, they lied to others about me. That was very sad to hear, but it certainly taught me a good lesson in love, grace, and forgiveness. I find myself praying often for them, and for me, because sometimes I need to continually forgive, because the resentment track and often replay in my head, how I long for the days of tape players when you could pull out the tape part, and you could no longer play the tape.
I have said before, I will not be sorry that I loved. I won’t even be sorry that I trusted, because that is what friendship is about. Love, trust, and grace.
1 Cor 13
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
I may have pain from trusting and being hurt, but I think of a sermon that one of the Pastors at our church gave and in it he said (me paraphrasing) “the sins others have committed against me and far less than that sins I have committed against God”.
And I think to myself, God has forgiven me, for so much, how can I not forgive others? It also says in the bible that we will be judged by God by how we judged others. Yikes. Am I the only one a little frightened by that? I want love and grace to abound in my life, and I need to be open to love (even at the risk of being hurt) because God has called us to love. I think of the song “Indescribable” that says “You’ve seen the depths of my heart, and You love me the same, You are an amazing God”.
I don’t think that it was a mistake that when Jesus was asked, what is the greatest commandments… It was to love God and love others. For some reason (probably because it’s not there) I don’t remember any stipulations like you don’t have to love them if they hurt you, or if you think that the sins they have caused are worse than yours, etc. He just said love.
Yes, it’s true, I have pain in my life, pain for things that others have done to me, and pain from the things that I have done. But both of those, will be taken to the throne of Grace, as many times as I need to, to release them to the Creator of the Universe, the Lover of all Loves, the Righter of all wrongs, the Grace that we all need.
Dear Jesus, please help me to love those around me, those who are easy to love, and those who have caused me pain. Whisper in my ear that You love me no matter what, and be with me as I need to do the same. Help me to see those who are hurting, and pray for their healing, speak to my heart O God a love bigger than I’ve ever known. Give me courage to love even when I’m afraid (and God we know, I’m always afraid), help me to let go of the things I need to, and when I can’t, please hold my hand so that I must release it to hold Yours. I love You Jesus. Even when my actions don’t always show it. You know my heart, and You love me the same, You are an amazing God. Thank You for Your life, and ALL that you’ve done in mine, and all that You will continue to do. In Your Mighty Loving Name, I pray. AMEN!
Mark 12:28-31 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.”