Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. ~1 Peter 4:8 (CEB)
Loving others comes easy when you like them. When your spirit or personalities seem to be aligned and it is as if you have known each other longer than you have, it is easy to say you love them. There is no friction, there are no major differences of opinions and you hear yourself saying “are we siblings?” or “we must be related.” However, when their very presence irritates your spirit, has you praying that God help you with your attitude, your responses, or praying that you listen and don't zone out when they are speaking, that’s when God’s love is in full effect. You know that person who, in your opinion adds no value to the team because they are never on the same page as the rest of the team. Or that person who always plays “devil’s advocate” and would be the very first person to point out the one flaw about someone or something that everyone else is willing to accept because the good outweighs the bad. Or maybe, it’s that person who when they say something, you zone out before they get to their point because they just love hearing themselves talk. Or perhaps it is that person who has an answer for everything, has experienced everything, and is the self-proclaimed expert in everything. Or maybe it is that person who is always late and expects you to stop and review everything they missed before the meeting can proceed. Or could it be that person who always has a chip on their shoulder and has a ‘victim’ or passive aggressive response similar to “I don’t agree, but if it’s what the team wants, I will go along with it.” Regardless if your person was called out or not, the scripture is clear to show love to each other because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. Yes, love that person who lied on you to make themselves look good or to cover up something they didn’t do. Yes, love that person who presented your idea as their own. Yes, love that person who always plays the victim, and no one calls them out on it. Yes, love that person who is the self-proclaimed expert. Yes, love that person who is also known as “Negative Nancy” or “Negative Nathan.” Yes, love that person who loves to hear themselves talk. The scripture doesn’t discriminate, so why should we?
Loving Others doesn’t mean you try to become best friends with them and hang out with them to try and change them. Nor does it mean you try to ‘fix’ them or help them see their flaws because then you run the risk of becoming the know it all expert in everything. Loving Others means you accept others as they are and appreciate them for accepting you and your flaws. Side Note: You do realize you have flaws, too, right? (*smile*). It is not our job to fix anyone or have all of the answers, but instead to love each other sincerely and let that love bring about the forgiveness, healing and wholeness needed. Many people need to forgive themselves and/or someone else and don’t realize this is what they need to do in order to be open to truly loving others. This revelation won’t always come easy and typically is not received by someone they have not established a relationship with. Loving Others grants us access to building relationships so “iron can sharpen iron” and we can work out our flaws together. Loving Others puts us in position to both be a blessing to escorting someone into a more whole and complete being and for us to be escorted into a more whole and complete being. Loving Others benefits you just as much as it benefits them for in your discussions, encounters, situations, and challenges, you will grow, learn, mature, and evolve just like those you are loving.
Loving Others with a sincere love
Ushers us into God’s agape pure love
Loving Others grants us grace and forgiveness
And opens us up to be an unadulterated witness
Call To Action: Identify 2 people you can work on loving more. Identify how these people sharpen you to be better.