Proverbs 10:12 ~ Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
I’m saddened lately by the vicious rhetoric Christians are capable of unleashing on one another just because they disagree. Quite honestly, if I were not a believer already I don’t think I would be attracted to the faith, based on what I see from Christians today.
You’ve seen it, too. I know you have. This person accuses that organization of no longer being Christian because they changed a company policy. Thousands go online to dispute or defend. That person warns Christians who attend a certain movie they will lose their faith. More thousands dispute and defend, and not in a loving correction kind of way, but with outright hate-filled finger pointing. An absolutely-I-am-right-at-all-times attitude that makes me want to pretend I’m not one of you. No mercy. No grace. No love. No bueno.
Scripture references are tossed back and forth like arrows – cutting into the heart and soul of the accused. Whatever happened to the most important ones like
Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31, Matthew 22:39, James 2:8)
Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)
Love covers over all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12)
Let love and faithfulness never leave you (Proverbs 3:3)
Love one another (1 Peter 3:8, 2 John 1:5)
And of course, the LOVE chapter beckons us to read it again and again. Let the words really sink in – these are truly LIFEWORDS:
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We are told in 1 Peter 1:22 to love one another deeply, from a pure heart. How is it possible to have a motivation of love when slinging the arrows that accuse and wound so deeply? I have a friend, a former worship leader, who risks suffering a panic attack every time she enters a church building. I dare say such a reaction was not caused by being unconditionally loved on by Christians.
I grew up singing a sweet, simple song: “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love ~ yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Stop and take a good look around. Listen to what we are saying to each other. Will the world know?
NOW YOU CAN HAVE REAL LOVE FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE YOUR SOULS HAVE BEEN CLEANSED FROM SELFISHNESS AND HATRED WHEN YOU TRUSTED CHRIST TO SAVE YOU; SO SEE TO IT THAT YOU REALLY DO LOVE EACH OTHER WARMLY, WITH ALL YOUR HEARTS. 1 Peter 1:22 the living bible