The Good and the Bad
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ESV
In today’s society, we love to enhance and garnish ourselves— displaying what is good in us to the world. Because we are selfish creatures who like to think that this beauty in us is exclusive to us, we many times will ignore the good in our fellow neighbors. What I mean by this is that it is natural for us to be inclined to overlook our own sin and flaws and magnify the bad we see in other people. When we do this, judging begins. I’ve heard countless times where nonbelievers will complain that Christians are “so judgmental” and I will admit that I cannot be excluded from casting judgement. Christians ought to be firm in their faith, but at the same time, they must be loving. What changed my fleshly thinking and prideful reasoning was the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As followers of Christ we are called to be stewards of God’s grace. This can mean several different things, but God has specifically commanded us to be loving towards our neighbors and fellow Christians (Mark 12:31). When we are quick to despise and criticize people for their stumbling and faults, it is easy for them to do the very same to us in return. Instead of suppressing love by these destructive behaviors, sisters we must look to the Gospel and act accordingly. Jesus Christ saw what was the very best in you and then died for it (Romans 5:8). He took on the wrath of God for our sins and because of His great love, we are justified before a perfect and holy God.
Sisters, despite our flaws and mistakes we have made there is hope in Jesus. Bearing witness of Christ to this fallen world, we love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for Your goodness and mercy. Thank you for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the love You have shown me through it. Please help me to forsake my selfish ways and to pursue Christ and His righteousness. Give me a mind that is filled with Your Spirit and a heart that overflows with Your grace and love. Help me to become a steward of Your grace and to speak words of encouragement and Truth to my neighbors. In Your precious and holy name I pray, Amen.
Are you prone to focus on the mistakes of others instead of acknowledging your own sin? Instead of criticizing others, what are some ways you can show people the love of Christ through your words and actions? Meditate on 1 Peter 4:8, Ephesians 4:2, 1 John 4:7, and Proverbs 10:12.