Coming at you with another one from the vault today! This post was originally shared in 2008. It’s been edited for clarity, because I was a lot wordier back then.
I know. Shocking.
1 Peter 4:8 – ‘Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it, because love covers a multitude of sins.’
My brain was doing somersaults this morning while I tried to be a good saint and read a whole chapter of the Bible without stopping.
Maybe it’s because there’s so much crammed into this command that a solid 47 sermons could spring out from it.
Maybe it’s ADD.
Ok, it’s probably, definitely the latter. When I say ‘somersaults’, I’m talking acrobatic feats performed by a tired, hopped-up-on-caffeine mind, not necessarily revelations of great importance.
I can’t be totally perfect, y’all.
At verse 1, which reminded me to crucify my flesh as Christ lovingly sacrificed His earthly body for us, I was primed and ready to whip out a devotion on daily crucifixion, but somewhere around verse 3, I started a grocery list. Don’t judge me. I was back on board by verse 6ish.
I screeched to a halt – mid-somersault – at verse 8. The Message Bible puts it this way – ‘love as if your life depended on it’.
Sure, ok. I mean, I love people. Sometimes I love them most when I don’t have to deal with them. But I love them.
Maybe not as hard as I would if my choices were to love them or face a firing squad, though.
So does my life really, really depend on unconditional love? All the time, all the people?
Apparently, life [as I seek to live it] is completely tied to love. ‘Love’ [or a derivative of the word] is mentioned in the KJV 442 times. Jesus, in all the wisdom of the ages, knew that He’d have to mention it more than once to get the point across. Especially to me and my acrobatic noggin. He got specific, too – in Matt. 22:37-38:
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” The Message
If I’m going to be more than Jesus talk – if I claim to live a life committed to Him, it is absolutely non-negotiable. My life depends on loving people.
It looks like I’ve got some work to do, probably before I finish that grocery list.