Hate stirs up conflict,
but love covers all offenses.
It’s impossible to love someone else perfectly. You’re different people with different needs, different likes and dislikes, different approaches to life. And even if you always knew exactly how to care for the people you love, you would still have to execute your plan perfectly – every time. We often know what needs to be done to love someone else, but we can’t do it. We might be too tired, too stressed, or even just a bit too hangry (!) to actually be helpful to anyone. So, in our closest relationships, it’s easy to feel like we’re letting someone down because we didn’t get it quite right.
If you are not always sure how to take care of the people you love, take comfort in this verse: love covers a multitude of offenses. In other words, we don’t always have to get it exactly right. We are allowed to be human, just like everyone else. And we do get credit for trying, even when our efforts are not exactly what a situation requires. God is ready to forgive a whole lot, so long as we keep ourselves open to learning and growing through our mistakes.
The message of the cross is that God’s love in Jesus Christ was enough to cover the sins of the world. Can we offer that kind of grace to each other? Can we extend it to ourselves? A little love goes a long way!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When has someone’s love for you been a catalyst in forgiveness?
Prayer: God, help us today to love one another well enough to forgive freely, setting aside all of our pettiness in favor of the deep healing that comes with knowing your grace at work in us. Today, help us extend that same grace to the people we care about – including ourselves! – knowing that your love has already covered over so many of our own faults and failings. Amen.