Love Each Other Deeply
Silence subtly creates stories in relationships. When you do not hear from someone, it can cause you to think — they don’t have time, they are not thinking about me, or they don’t know what to say.
Fear keeps us from taking relational steps of courage. A call to a hurting friend would become a bother. We sidestep the questions about a journey of grief because we don’t want to say the wrong thing.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
The writer of 1 Peter sends these words to a people under stress, weariness, and isolation. Love can go silent and distant in seasons of chaos. During the moments that people need each other the most, humans tend to hesitate.
You have heard it said, “Social distancing does not mean relationally distancing.” Making that text, phone call, or scheduling that Zoom continues to become increasingly complicated. If you took a moment, you could identify three-five people who need to hear from you.
1 Peter 4:8 implores us to “love each other deeply…” Love will inconvenience us. Love will make us uncomfortable. Love will infringe on our to-do list. But to love each other deeply quenches the silence and distance. It communicates to others that they are not alone.
I have talked with friends who are processing the news of Ahmaud Arbery. I know of mothers who will not be able to see their children this weekend. The news of the pastor, Darrin Patrick, passing away has brought a heaviness to many. Still, others have walked through their grief of losing a loved one in this pandemic.
Loving deeply means taking the risk of reaching out — a willingness to walk in the mess sadness, anger, and anxiety of another with empathy. The rest of the verse, “Love covering a multitude of sin,” is not about passively dismissing wrong, but a proactive love that goes towards a person when they need us the most.
Joel B. Green, in his commentary, says this about 1 Peter 4:
In Scripture, the vocabulary of grace connotes spontaneous kindness and acts of generosity — in the case of God, welling up from his own character, and in the case of humanity, resourced through the reception and embodiment of the ungrudging initiative of God.
The good news of the gospel communicates Jesus loving us deeply. He entered the mess of our world suffering through death on the cross for our sin and resurrecting from the dead to give us new life. The “ungrudging initiative of God” inspires us to love like that.
So today, who needs to hear from you? Who needs to sense that you love them deeply, especially at this time? Take time today to live out 1 Peter 4:8.
Originally published at https://peterenglert.com on May 9, 2020.