Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Insights: Wayne Grudem wrote, “Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offences, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking, every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding, and conflicts abound—to Satan’s perverse delight.” It is absolutely vital we understand Satan’s hatred for the Body of Christ. He experiences, as Grudem wrote, a perverse delight in stirring up discord and dissension in the fellowship of Believers. When he has successfully generated enough friction amongst the Beloved of the Lord, then everyday conversations become twisted. We no longer believe the ingenuous words of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We begin to believe they are harboring ulterior motives with the intent to harm us. Oh how sad it is to see a church living in this kind of paranoid delusion. It is sad because the church then becomes crippled and they will stop pursuing the mission for which they were called—evangelism. Let me introduce another quote from Gregory Frizzell at this point. He wrote, “One is never more like God than when kind and forgiving and never more like Satan than when critical and harsh.” Just as we love God because He first loved us, so we forgive others because He first forgave us. In other words, as we become more and more transformed into the image of Christ Jesus, the more and more we will behave like Jesus. Even on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When we take that kind of approach to those who have caused us great offense, then we are displaying the love of Jesus toward that person. It is for that reason Frizzell wrote, “One is never more like God than when kind and forgiving. . . .” It’s for this reason that Grudem wrote, “Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offences, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten.” Love is the key ingredient which allows forgiveness to prosper in a fellowship of Believers. Beloved of the Lord, let us live like Jesus and forgive those who have offended us today. Let us show the Lord’s love to all we encounter. I remind you that the backdrop to this second characteristic needed for unity is Jesus imminent return. In other words, because we do not know when Jesus’ return is going to be, we ought to forgive quickly. Beloved, reconcile with your Brothers and Sisters for God’s glory!
- Are you allowing love to be the ruling factor of your life?
- Are you withholding forgiveness from someone?
Prayer: Lord, You first forgave me because of Your great love. Work within my life and produce Your love in me. Give me the ability to forgive others just as You forgave me. Amen.