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1 Peter 4:8: Above All, Keep Loving One Another Earnestly, Since Love Covers A Multitude Of Sins.

1 Peter 4:8
[8] Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (ESV)

This verse starts with the words, "Above all." It implies that what follows is of utmost importance. Peter says that we should keep loving one another earnestly. In some churches, people cannot keep loving one another earnestly. They would  have to start loving one another first! Sadly, there are many people who claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, who cannot seem to get along with others who make the claim.

Church is where we live out this command that Peter gives to us. If you want to know how loving a church is go to a business meeting. Observe how people who have differing opinions treat one another. I have been cussed out in a church meeting. I have heard hateful, raised voices in a church meeting. These are things that should never happen.

Why do we love one another earnestly? There can be several reasons. The practical application is that it will cover a multitude of sins. In other words, if we are able to love our brother or sister in Christ, it will enable us to overlook the way they may be treating us. This is not to say that we approve or excuse bad behavior, but it does say that we are more interested in loving than being upset.

Jesus said this is John 13:35: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” A fair question for all of us, would be, "Do people in my community know that we are disciples at Jesus Christ because they see how loving we are to one another?" I cannot answer that question for you. But I hope you will ask it of yourself and whatever church you belong to.

Are you more passionate about loving others who do not deserve love? Or are you more passionate about being offended? How is your church known in the community? Are you a place of love? How are you contributing to the reputation of your church? How can you change? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.