1 Peter 4:8 1 minutes to read

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

When a runner is in a close race and approaches the finish line he is taught to stretch his body toward the line to make every inch count to win the race. This is a good application of the Greek word, ektene, translated “earnestly”, “deeply”, or “fervently”. As an athlete strains and stretches his muscles to lean his or her body into the finish line so we as followers of Jesus are to love others in such a way as to stretch our “love muscles” to get every inch of opportunity.

Peter says this is our number one priority and what we should be doing “above all” else. This should always be the case but how much more so during times of trial and suffering. We need this kind of loving community to survive the difficulties of life.

The last part of the verse tells us why this is so important, “since love covers a multitude of sins.” Even mature believers who mean well and are trying to love well will sometimes fail. We are imperfect and on a life journey of growing in our surrender of self. There will be times we fall short of God’s expectations and we will injure each other. This kind of love will be needed to bear one another’s shortcomings and sinful actions against us. We will need to stretch our love muscles to lean into our relationships with the forgiveness that Christ offered us.

Reflection

What relationship do you think God wants you to stretch your love muscles to lean into? What would that look like in a practical way today?

Prayer

God, when I get tired and weary of running the Christian race or injured in a relationship, enable me to “keep” loving with extra effort, those who fall short of meeting my expectations. May your forgiveness motivate me to forgive those who occasionally let me down.