Week 3: The Light of Love
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
R ecently, I was tidying my house when one of my six-year-old’s ‘masterpieces’ accidentally found its way into the trash. A meltdown ensued, partly because this particular masterpiece had been created for her beloved kindergarten teacher. Once the dust had settled, I messaged her teacher to explain why her picture might be a little crumpled the next day.
“That’s okay!” came the return message. “I still have these!”
Pictured was a full-on gallery of drawings my daughter had done for her. The themes ranged from rainbows to butterflies to simple scribbles, but the message on each was the same: “I love Mrs. Miller.”
This same little girl had moments ago accused me of ruining of her life for accidentally throwing something away. It sure felt like Mrs. Miller was getting the better end of this deal.
The truth is that love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. We aren’t limited to seeing the people we love most at only their best – ask anyone who has ever had a heated argument with their spouse or stormed out of a family gathering. Our love can act as a florescent light, magnifying every flaw that might be missed by others without the same connection. There’s no hiding where deep love is involved. If this sounds terrifying, it’s because it could be. What happens if people see us for who we really are?
But the Bible tells us that love doesn’t just bring our flaws into the light. Love also bears all things and endures all things (Cor 13:7). If love is why we see certain people for exactly who they are, love is also why we accept them despite it. Love, after all, covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
God gave the world His only begotten Son knowing that we were flawed. Paul makes this very clear in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When we doubt our worth, when we feel hard to love, when we would rather keep our worst selves out of the light, we can remember that we celebrate Christmas because the same light that sees our every flaw is the Light that loved us enough to send His son to die for us. His love allows us to be exactly who we are.
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