1 PETER 4:7-8 – The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
Today’s scripture is a great place for some thorough self-examination. If we really want to know how much of the love of Christ we are truly experiencing; just how much conforming into the image of Christ is occurring in our lives; and the level of understanding what the Christian life is all about, put ourselves before the mirror of the Apostle Peter’s words. He writes, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins”. Pay attention to the first two words – Above all. Nothing else is of greater importance. Nothing trumps love in the Christian life. We are to be known by our love in word and deed. Jesus makes it crystal clear, the “IDCARD” of His people is love for one another – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). And the Apostle John makes sure we know this love isn’t a passing thing with a mere profession – “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18)
So, how would we really know if this love we are commanded to live is actually happening in our lives? Well, it won’t be when life is fairly easy and conflict non-existent, if such a time ever really happens. No, we will be tested to the reality of our love when it is hard. Sit back and think about it. How do we react when relational conflict occurs? With a family member? With another Christian? In a church? When something is done we don’t like, said that is hurtful, or we are sinned against, what is our attitude and response? There and only there is when we get the accurate assessment of our love. If we know the love of Christ, when relational conflict occurs, we work it out; grow from it; get closer through it. But on the other hand, if we avoid it, run from it, and sever the relationships, we know so very little of Christ’s love.
The love chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, ends with these words, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”(1 Corinthians 13:13). Is it so in our lives? If we really want to know, see how we are doing when the inevitable conflict in relationships comes.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to not only profess I know of Your love but live under the control of Your love.”
QUOTE: “We will know if we truly are experiencing the love of God in our lives by how we react to relational conflict.”
Because of Him,