Love Covers
By Melanie Chitwood

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers…” 1 Peter 4:8 (NAS)

I’ve been thinking lately about how easy it is to judge others or to think I have the answers for others. For example, when I see a mother frustrated by her unruly kids, I might think, "She just needs to put those kids in a long time-out.” Another time I observe a couple having trouble in their marriage and I question their commitment to God’s ways.

In a nutshell, I can be self-righteous, just like the Pharisees. God has been making me aware lately of some of the unspoken yardsticks by which I measure others, such as: A good mom doesn't let her kids watch too much TV and doesn’t scream at her kids, or a godly woman has a quiet time every day and doesn't fight with her husband.

But then there's Jesus who turns these notions upside down when He says,” the greatest of these is love." What if instead of self-righteousness, we rained down love? It would sound like this: "Being a mom can be exhausting. Do you want to come over and hang out for a while?" or “I’ve had struggles in my marriage too. Do you want to talk about it?”

God’s Word reminds me that “love covers.” God is challenging me to examine my spoken and unspoken judgments of others. He wants us to come alongside others and help carry their burdens, rather than add to them with our criticism. Where the Phrarisees heap coals of judgment, Jesus calls us to be vessels of His love and encouragement.

Love covers. I'm praying that I will be like my Father who, instead of offering the yardstick of religious rules, offers the healing touch of mercy and love.

Dear Lord, Thank You that Your love has covered me and continues to cover me. Let me be more like You by offering the people in my life Your love, encouragement and help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

What Every Wife Should Know, DVD with Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
In your journal write about the different ways God has covered you with love, rather than burdened you with judgment.

Call someone today to offer your prayers, encouragement, and practical help.

Reflections:
Think about some of the key people in your life – friends, husband, children, pastor, boss, coworkers, neighbors, mother, sister-in-law, etc. Ask God to show you who you tend to judge rather than love. Ask God to change your heart to be more like His.

Power Verses:
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)

Matthew 7:4, 5, “How can you think of saying to your friend,’ Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (NLT)


4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for a very thought provoking and helpful devotion. It is so true about how easy it is to criticize and judge others for actions we ourselves are guilty of commiting. Somehow we excuse ourselves or feel that it's different when we commit the same errors. But, with God's help I want to be more mindful today and every day thanks to your reminder.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great reminder! We all have a past which explains a lot in the way we react to situations, although we have a loving God that will guide us to a better future.

Blogger Monica said...

I've been a blog lurker for a few months now and just wanted to say I love peeking every day. What a great ministry!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is in regards to the grandmother bible:
I was raised back and forth between my mom and grandparents, I really hated my mother, I wanted nothing to do with her. My grandparents raised me with the importance of forgiving and praying for those who do not have god in their live. So much love and guidence was in that home. I learned to not only forgive my mom but to pray for her as well. Over the years my mother got sick with cancer, she started blaming god. Saying he was punishing her for wat she did to her kids. Well short story is my grandparents and I kept praying for her, and three years ago on my birthday my grandmother died and it broke my heart. She was the most humble woman i ever knew. So devoted to her children and grandchildren. I lived in florida at the time and kept well contact with my grandfather. He just seemed to deteriorate over the year. Well i prayed and prayed for him and he just kept having faith and eventually just didn't know who anyone was anymore. He died two years later on my birthday as well. I learned from them to accept the things that god brings to us without blame. I learned to pass this on to my children and grandchildren. I lack sometimes but hope and pray that they succeed in life to learn the things I did. I have seven grandchildren and I am only 43yrs old. The stories I have read here are incredible. Thank you for the opportunity to read them. They have inspired my life once again about the blessing a grandparent can be. Cyndi Akens
My email is nutty0125@yahoo.com

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