A Challenge: Love One Another AS IS
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
It seems that accepting one another as is has become very challenging these days. Marriages, families, communities, and even nations seem almost focused on their differences. Even Christians are divided by the choices in this presidential election.
I remember when debate without hate was real. I have had major differences with people who became good friends. A few years ago, I asked this guy to leave a ministry because his behavior and his motives were bad. Today, he is one of my prayer partners. Another guy that I had asked to leave the ministry became one of my fishing buddies. How have we been able to maintain our relationship even though we disagree on many things?
The thing that brought us together was respect. The tough conversations were all done with mutual respect toward one another. Our language toward one another was respectful, not demeaning. We listened respectfully and learned to accept each other's opinions, which helped us to accept each other as individuals. That acceptance of one another led us to a relationship in which we could actually love one another, care for each other, and have fun together. We still offend one another at times, but neither of us care, because love covers a multitude of sin.
First Peter 4:8 has always been one of my favorite verses. But I have learned that love begins with accepting people for who they are; not who I want them or need them to be.
Do you have people in your life that you disagree with a little or a lot? Are you able to maintain mutual respect for one another? How has 1 Peter 4:8 played out in your life? Please email me to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Your greatest life is just ahead.
Pastor Michael Baggett
Bridges is a weekly gathering of single adults in the Sacramento area, whose mission is to help develop great friendships and healthy relationships with God and others. Bridges currently meets on Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at Life Community Church in Roseville, CA. To learn more, e-mail Michael Baggett, or visit www.BridgesSacramento.com.