And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
The word fervent in the original Greek language is ektenē (ἐκτενῆ) which means to be stretched. I don’t often think of being stretched as a pleasant thing. Being stretched to my limit often means that I am either stressed, overwhelmed, hurting, or frustrated. Being stretched in my experience is uncomfortable. Not a single one of us could say straight faced that we love feeling uncomfortable.
There are times in our christian walks where we can feel stretched by the brokenness that surrounds us. People can treat us poorly, say unkind things, and ostracize us. We can feel overwhelmed by circumstances and poor choices. We can feel defeated and hopeless. How are we as Christians suppose to respond when we are victims of other’s sins or victims of our own transgressions?
The answer is Love.
We are all broken and sinful. Every last one of us has said an unkind word about someone or has a past we don’t find comfortable shouting from the roof tops. But Jesus loves us in our mess. He didn’t ask us to clean up our acts or tell us to follow some formula for us to be good enough to be loved.
Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And because Christ loves us in our mess, we are called to love others in theirs! Because of what Christ has done for us, we should be willing and ready to do the same for others. We should be willing to forgive. We need to allow God to continually stretch us to love others even when they hurt us. 1 Corinthians 13:8 says that “Love never fails.” Love outlives and outlasts all hurts and failures. Love covers a multitude of sins. Let us love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and shine God’s love through our lives.