This is a lesson I have to study every single day and one I recently messed up big time:
Last week I spat off some hurtful and negative things at a dear friend. You see, about a month ago something happened that stung my heart. But instead of stopping in that moment and telling her it hurt me; I retreated, let it fester and became bitter and angry. That is, until last week when I erupted. And what’s worse is even after I did it and knew how wrong it was and spent a day crying about it, I still didn’t go to her to apologize. My pride got in the way. In that moment and over the last month, I did not love her well.
And then the Lord convicted me.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart” 1 Peter 1:22
Peter urges Christians—because they are purified through Christ—to love fellow Christians purely and fervently. It is our duty to love one another deeply. We must love one another sincerely, genuinely and with everything in us. Whether our feelings are hurt, our opinions don’t align or our views are different, we must love well and we must love deeply. We are commanded to.
We love well and love deeply when we:
- Speak love and encouragement instead of evil and criticism.
“Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
- Are kind, tenderhearted and understanding.
“Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.” Ephesians 4:32
- Bring peace and not dissension.
“Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.” Romans 14:19
- Speak truth in love.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
We love well and love deeply through our actions and our words. We love well and love deeply through being more like Christ. We love well and love deeply when we lay our burdens, our pride, and our selfish motives at the Cross and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.
I messed this up and I will probably mess up again soon. Probably tomorrow. And that is why I’m thankful for grace.
But, in case you were wondering, I did indeed apologize and ask forgiveness from my precious friend…..and she chose to love me well and love me deeply in return.
*Father, help me to love well. Help me to not let shameful, hurtful thoughts enter my mind or exit my mouth. You love me in spite of my flaws, I should reflect the same in my love for others.*