The Cure for Holiday Angst

1 Peter 4: 8        NIV

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Does anyone struggle with this directive? On the one hand, it sounds like the simplest of all commands but in practice, it can be challenging. Life is sometimes annoying and there are plenty of people available to jump all over your very last nerve. With the holidays looming just beyond the horizon, the trials of your patience and love are lining up. How do we get in front of the oncoming tidal wave of challenges to our love walk? This is the time we must prepare.

I marvel at how Peter almost nonchalantly instructs us in the love walk. He makes it sound so easy. I find, however, that though I love greatly, love is not always what is expressed in times of stress. Am I exacting, demanding, intolerant or judgmental? The scars within us make it more difficult for us to stay in the expression of love when others press on our nerves. Sometimes we cannot find the means by which to navigate the personal relationship paths even though we search for the love road. Try our best, we often fail.

There is help though. Start being thankful today, thankful for a God who meets all our needs. Then talk to Him about this deep love Peter wrote about. If you journal, ask Father to describe this kind of love; what it looks like, what it feels like. Ask Him to reveal to you what Peter understood when he wrote today’s verse. What does Peter know that we may have failed to perceive? Remember, this is the same guy who whipped out his sword and sliced off the ear of the Roman soldier in response to perceived threat. In that instance, Jesus had to be the love that Peter’s writing reveals to us today. This is not a message from John, the love apostle. This comes from someone who likely had to discover the hard way what it means to walk in love.

Our Father can help us learn and develop just as Peter did. It is probably not enough, though, just to say, “Father, the holidays are coming and with them social events and the accompanying stress, so help me Father.” That is a good prayer but what is needful may be a daily communion with Him such that He can teach and instruct you.

“Help me, Father, to be who you designed me to be. Transform my heart and mind so that your love is the outward expression of my soul. Be with me, Father, daily, guiding and teaching me so that I can learn to love despite any challenges to a gentle, kind nature. Give me insight and compassion Lord. Show me your heart for others. Let me see the affection you have for each person I come in contact with. Heal the brokenness in me so that my injuries do not become the shadows that darken other’s lives. Lead me in the path of Divine Love.”

My best advice is to begin today in order to be ready for the holidays. As you allow Yahweh to touch your heart, His fingerprints will be the loving residue that you will be able to share with others. We can only give what we have first received so step one is allowing the Father to love you in new, unprecedented ways. Be blessed!

The Robe of Love

1 Peter 4: 8

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

God is love. You know that. Because He is love then the pursuit of life is love. Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him (Jeremiah 29: 13). When you find God, you have found love. Love is the one thing. It is preeminent. It’s all about love.

When you dwell in love, when you make it your abiding grace, then your actions will be colored by love as well. However, we know that none of us are perfect. We still fail. We still make mistakes but love covers them. If we have made it our life’s ambition to live by love then love is our guard and shield. It is our hiding place in the time of trouble, like a strong refuge. Love protects us.

Think of this too. Love is also our redeemer. Wouldn’t you say that is true? Wasn’t it love which sent Jesus for us? Wasn’t it love that nailed him to a cross? Love restored our souls redeeming them from the pit of hell and placing us in glory with our Lord. As is so evident, love is power. 

We have such a small revelation of love. We cling to the might of God’s strong hand but fail to see that love is the power behind His might. Whenever we fall, it is love which picks us up but we cannot know God or the power of His might until we yield our hearts to this power, the power of love.

When we envelope ourselves in God, His love becomes a covering for us. Not only does it protect us but it redeems our mistakes. It covers the errors of our ways. That is not to say that we entertain debauchery. No, as we live in love we always seek to give God our very best. We never intend to cause Yahweh sorrow by sinning for in truth to sin against God is really to sin against ourselves. We do not harm God with our iniquity. We injure ourselves. However, when we live a life dedicated to love, God covers our iniquity so that we are safe, secure and forgiven. We live with contrite hearts always seeking to express purity. However, when we do fail, when we do err, God picks us up, dusts us off and sets us back on our feet. 

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your friends, boss, employees, family members and the nut on the freeway as you love yourself. Forgive everyone who has harmed you. Pray for and bless them. And let selflessness be your guide.