“Above all, keep loving each other earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” –1 Peter 4: 8-9
Being in relationship with people means sometimes we are hurt by them. I’m sure I’ve hurt people with words I’ve said or things I’ve done, and people have hurt me with their words and actions as well. In the Bible, Peter tells us to “love each other earnestly.” But how do we do that? Instead of giving the cold shoulder we’re called to love them instead. Jesus is our perfect example because he didn’t retaliate or ignore us. Jesus died for us on the cross because he loved us and forgave us of our sins so we could be with him for eternity. His love covers a multitude of sins, knowing everything about us, and everything we would ever do, and yet he still died to forgive us. He commands us to love each other because he has loved us. As believers we show Jesus’s love to others even when they are difficult to love and we forgive them no matter what they do to us. The more we love and forgive, the more we look like the image of Christ.
Peter also says that one way we can express this love is by being hospitable, and not complaining about it. That means being kind and compassionate towards others like Jesus is towards us. Servitude is a way to be hospitable, and Christ commands us to be his hands and feet. He wants us to love those we are serving, but sometimes it can be difficult to want to serve them because we don’t have the time or energy, or maybe because they keep asking you for favors and you never get anything in return. That’s when we remember Jesus’s love for us and show them love anyways. Jesus washed his disciples feet voluntarily and out of love, because that’s who Jesus is- love! Christ is the perfect picture of a servant’s heart and being hospitable without complaining.
This week I challenge you to love like Jesus loves, not because they are worthy or they deserve it, but because Jesus has shown you his love by forgiving you for everything. Pray for opportunities to show love, forgiveness, and hospitality to fellow believers.