Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Pet. 4:8)

A SPECIAL BOND OF LOVE exists among followers of Christ. They are concerned for the welfare of one another, and quick to forgive offenses. They are quicker to believe the best, heal the hurts, and restore those who stumble than they are to condemn, accuse, and expose.

Sure there are opportunities in any Christian community for people to get upset with each other. Some people aren’t very lovable. Some are not even likable. But the life of Christ within us causes us to relate to others on a new level. In our human nature, it is easier to gossip without knowing the facts than to hold our tongue and not discredit another or damage his or her reputation. Love believes the best rather than suspects the worst. Love seeks to protect rather than expose. Love causes us to seek how we can bring healing, acceptance, forgiveness, and encouragement to our brothers and sisters.

Loving others in spite of their faults and failings is a special gift of God’s Spirit in us. We love Him and others because He first loved us and gave us His Spirit. That loving Spirit now resides in us, empowering a new life. His love exceeds all other loves, and He teaches us to love each other deeply.

Turn love into a verb and treat others the way God has treated you.

Ken Heer was a pastor, community director, and author (A Good Start and Ancient Fire). He passed away prior to this publication.