I Peter 4:8 (NIV) "Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins."
Why do we somehow imagine that people will be perfect? Why do we have expectations that our dearest and closest friends or relatives will never disappoint us? Most interestingly, why do we think that our brothers and sisters in Christ will never falter in their conduct? Yet, when we ourselves miss the mark, we are quick to declare that we are not perfect and are in need of mercy! Surely we should know that we all fail. Romans 3:23 (NLT) "For everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God's glorious standard."
The scriptures warn us not to judge. There's only one who is capable and worthy to judge, and none of us are Him! We are so fast in our scrutiny of others, it is scary! In Matthew 7:2 (NASB) it says, "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you." Oh my Lord! Help me to have an extremely long measuring stick, for I will want mercy and will need lots of it when I fail!
I find it most interesting in the translation of I Peter 4:8 stated above that it says to continue to show DEEP love for each other. What would DEEP love be like? I Corinthians 13 may explain it best.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
Now that's what I would call DEEP love! We need to sow that kind of love to others, for we desperately need that kind of love ourselves! We all have a multitude of sins that are in need of being covered. Jesus shed His blood to cover our sins. If we are receiving His love, forgiveness and mercy, then that is what we should be giving to others.
Lord Jesus, help us to have DEEP love for one another. Help us to quickly forgive and to not keep a tally of wrong doings. Help us to be patient, kind and long suffering, which are the fruits of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to not be jealous when others are blessed and to not brag or be arrogant about our own blessings. Help us to only rejoice in truth, not in seeing our brothers and sisters stumble. Help us to not be easily provoked, or to seek ourselves being recognized or act inappropriately. Help us to be strong in believing, hoping and expecting to see good things. Dear God, help us to walk in love! Amen.