“We’re supposed to be different. In this there is beauty!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 14, 2023
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
In today’s world, there’s a whole lot of “I don’t get you.” There’s a bunch of “You’re wrong and I’m right.” We live in a society where we exalt our own positions, statuses, and opinions and we believe we are superior to those around us who aren’t like us, don’t think like us, and don’t have what we have.
If we are married and we meet someone who is single longer than we were, we may think there is something “wrong” with them. Why haven’t they been able to find a partner and easily tie the knot like I did? If someone we know married young and we are single it certainly means that they just don’t “get” us, that they are judgmental of singles and don’t care to befriend them. If someone is divorced and we have faithfully stayed married for 30 years, doesn’t it mean that they are tainted, and that God can’t possibly use them because of their “sinful status?”
If someone is poor and we are wealthy, we may look down on them. We got our lives together, why haven’t they been able to do the same? If someone lives in a well-to-do neighborhood, that’s a clear sign that they are full of themselves. If someone wears nice clothes it means they are materialistic. If someone works somewhere we never would because it seems like “menial” work, that’s because they aren’t as intelligent, right?
I wish all followers of Jesus were immune from looking down on others. But we’re not. (I’m holding up my hand because I have been guilty of casting a judging glance at others who aren’t like me.)
1 Peter 4:8 says love covers a multitude of sins. If love covers sin, then it can certainly cover differences. Prejudice is blinding and it comes in many forms. It’s not just about race.
The Body of Christ and everyone on the earth who the Lord has created is part of a collective whole. We are all connected—and what we do to others we do to ourselves. And, all God has made is good. One person has this gift, another has that. We aren’t all supposed to be the same. We’re supposed to be different—and in this there is immense beauty! Just because someone is different than we are doesn’t mean we’re better.
And (check this out!) we can experience great joy as we seek to understand one another and lay aside our differences. But pride and believing we are superior to others because they don’t have the same status, position, or perspectives we do will keep us from listening—and that always stops love from flowing between people. How tragic this is because love is healing and life changing! Imagine if our entire culture chose to love instead of judge!
In no way am I saying we shouldn’t judge sin. We should. And we don’t need to accept sinful behavior as okay. Judging sin doesn’t mean we are judging others. It means we are agreeing with God’s standards. We shouldn’t endorse or agree with cultural messages and ways that go against God’s plan for humanity. But what we do need to do as Christ followers is make love our highest calling. Love covers a multitude of sins. It also covers differences. When we love we can listen even as we disagree. Love will help us see others as precious spirits God has created—and then we can lay aside judgment so we can hear with open ears and hearts of compassion.
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses” (Proverbs 10:12).
Lord, just because someone is different than me doesn’t mean that you love them any less, and it doesn’t guarantee that they are wrong. Help me to lay aside judgment that blinds me and causes me to think I am better than those around me. Amen.
Get to know someone who is different than you. Listen with open ears and an open heart.
Gaither Vocal Band: Loving God, Loving Each Other
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