8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:8-11
What better day than Valentine’s Day to remind us to love each other deeply. What is Peter saying though when he says “love covers over a multitude of sins?” He means that we are to love EVERYONE, because everyone sins. We are not loving deeply if we only love our family, close friends and relatives. We are to love those people who are particularly unlovable; it is not for us to judge a person’s worth or character. Perhaps these people simply need someone to care. What greater gift for both the giver and receiver to be someone who shows love to someone who thinks they are unlovable?
Without love, communication is open to misunderstanding and suspicion. Online communication is particularly susceptible to this because we are unable to discern the speaker’s tone, inflection, nuance, and body language. It is difficult to determine a person’s motives. Often it is better to say nothing at all than to let our words become open to interpretation.
My favorite part of this passage is verse 11, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.” Oh my goodness, what self-discipline it would take to measure all of our words to only those God would speak. Instead of speaking in anger, with sarcasm, or frustration, it would help to first think about the way God speaks to and cares for us, and use this example when we speak to others.
This has been a difficult year for everyone. When speaking or interacting with others, show grace. You do not know their struggles. If you are able to give to others, give with love and gratitude. If you are struggling, accept help with love and gratitude.
Women of the Bible Blocks 3 and 4
What a happy coincidence that Block 3 in the Women of the Bible series is Rachel and Leah. Jacob loved Rachel so much that he worked fourteen years for their father, Laban, to be able to marry her. Laban initially told Jacob he would have to work seven years for Rachel, then tricked him by making him marry Leah first. Then Jacob worked another seven years to finally marry Rachel.
Block 4 is Noah’s wife. Her name is never given in the Bible, but again, Noah’s story is one of God’s great love for people.
Here is the link to Stitchin’ Tree, where you can purchase the pattern for the Women of the Bible blocks. If you missed my post last week, I reduced the size of all the blocks to 6″ so I can make a smaller quilt.
Warm wishes to everyone from cold, cold Wisconsin. It may be wishful thinking, but this may be the end of sub-zero temperatures for the winter. Hope you are spending your Valentine’s Sunday with someone you love or doing something you love.