Read: 1 Peter 4:7-11 and Psalm 99
We continue with yesterday’s reading. St. Peter writes that the end is near, so we need to be watchful and serious. “Above all things,” he writes, “have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” (v. 8)
That can sting a bit. We tend to have trouble with this one. It is interesting that the churches that talk the loudest about being “a loving church” are often the ones that need to do a lot of work in that area.
Love is a tricky thing. Society seems to think it is an emotion, a warm, fuzzy feeling. Society teaches that love and hate are opposites. But society is wrong. Love is a bit like forgiveness in that we must first decide to love before we can feel the emotion. It takes a conscious act and decision, especially if the other person has wronged us in some way.
And the opposite of love is not hate. It is selfishness. See, selfishness wants the best for itself, no matter the cost to anyone else. A baby is the epitome of selfishness. It cries for a bottle or clean diaper regardless of whether or not Mama has had any sleep. The baby does not care that it is two in the morning, the baby wants to be fed now.
Love, on the other hand, wants the best for the other person, no matter the cost to itself. Love does the dishes when dead tired because they need doing. Love gets up with the baby at two in the morning so Mama can sleep. Love puts aside its wants and needs to minister to the wants and needs of another.
Why is it so hard for disciples to show love to each other? Why do we find it so easy to gossip and say hurtful things? Why do we get so territorial and hateful and forget Christ’s command to love each other?
The world is watching and is not fooled. What are you going to do about it?