I recently got my feelings hurt. Not something that I dwell on too often, but this time it got to me. I went to bed feeling down and quite honestly a little grumpy. I woke up the next morning with a sharpie note on a napkin from my husband.
It simply said, “Love covers a multitude of sin. Let love win.”
I’ve made it very clear that my goal for 2014 is to love people. I have a verse for the year – 1 Peter 4:8 and I talked about loving people deeply. Let me be honest here – when I set out to love people, I wasn’t thinking about people who would hurt me. When I said I wanted to love people I meant I want to do cute things to show people I’m thinking about them, I want to be patient with my kids and husband, I want to build deeper relationships with those I don’t know well, I want to lift people up in prayer. I had dreams of showing love to people that life has been hard on. I wanted to not judge people on their past, but love the person they are in the present. Sounds good doesn’t it?
But I failed to put into my goal and thinking the last part of that verse about loving deeply- for love covers a multitude of sins. See I had no problem with love covering a multitude of past sins, or sins committed against someone else. But what about those sins that others commit that involve me?
There it was on a napkin placed in the bathroom at 7 am. Let love cover a multitude of sins. A part of my goal that I knew I had to include. And by loving people who hurt me, I don’t mean develop thicker skin or remaining silent. I think both of those things are necessary and appropriate at times. But sometimes loving someone means having a difficult discussion with them about how their actions impacted you. Sometimes loving someone means not just letting a sin slide, it means facing it head on. But facing it head on covered in LOVE. When do I know which situations need grace to let love cover it and not address it and which ones need to be addressed head on in love? I believe that’s the Holy Spirit’s job to tell me, and if it’s His job to tell me – I better be bathing the entire situation in prayer to know what He wants.
January down, hard lesson number one down. Here’s to 11 more months of discovering what God is teaching me when I say I want to love people.