That’s a question I’ve been pondering for a long time, and I believe God gave me at least part of the answer yesterday. Let me share it with you. First, here are some scriptures.
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.
1 Peter 4:8(NKJV)
8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
When a person sins, s/he does things outside Godly parameters within which He wants us to live and love. It’s about self and not about God and His way. Sin hurts and even destroys, while love, God’s love, restores, blesses and even heals. That’s a profound difference.
We are all spiritual works in progress, brothers and sisters. We all still sin, some occasionally and some habitually. God is working to fill us with His love so that we are at the point where we choose God or sin. Yes, sin is a choice. Not all choices are conscious, reasoned ones.
I have a confession to make. I choose to overeat, to seek the comfort that food brings. Yes, I am God’s. Yes, I am His ordained spiritual leader. Yes, I have gone through some truly tough times that are long gone but emotional memories still remain and can be triggered by stress. God is still my everything. He still fills me with His love so that I can be His instrument of love to others. And, He has shown me what an impact that love has made in many lives.
Have I asked God to change me? Sure. Has He changed me? Profoundly, but not yet in this area. The same is true for many of you, for I see quite a few that God has placed His hand upon to do and be what He has called you to do and be. And you move forward in spite of your sin, and so do I.
The Apostle Paul says that if he doesn’t have love, all spiritual works and gifts are unprofitable. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2). So, love is the key that opens and reaches hurting hearts. All of us are hurting in some way, and all of us need God’s grace, mercy and compassion. Jesus is God, and we follow Him. Let us be His instruments of love, grace and compassion. Like scripture says, love is a more excellent way.
Pray with me, please: Father God, help us to see the strength and power in Your love as well as the patience, gentleness, kindness and compassion. Help us all to shift from being judgmental of our brothers and sisters who are struggling with their own issues and sins and be there for and with them in ways that can help them break those patterns and habits. Help us to wait for Your timing and power to break those chains, for it is not something we can do on our own. We can change behavior, and that works for a while, but only You can change hearts, removing what doesn’t belong and replacing it with what does belong there for eternity. Thanks for hearing this literally heartfelt prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved