LOVE COVERS ALL.
For each question, what answer would you choose.
Which country do you think is more likely to get into a war:
a country that tries to steal oil and water from other countries?
a country that sends food and medical supplies to other countries?
What kind of neighbor do you think is more likely to get reported to the police:
a neighbor who soaps the windows of the house next door?
a neighbor who offers a plate of freshly baked cookies to the new family moving in next door?
What kind of kid do you think is more likely to get into a fight at school:
a kid who calls people names?
a kid who seems to love everybody (even Walter Wigsniewski!)?
The answers to those questions should be pretty obvious, right? It's easy to figure out that a kid who calls people names is probably going to get into more fights than a kid who seems to love everybody. And a person who soaps his neighbor's windows is more likely to get reported to the police than someone who offers a plate of freshly baked cookies to the new family moving in next door. And any country that tries to steal natural resources, like oil and water, from nearby countries is probably heading for war much more than a country that sends food and medical supplies to its neighbors!
That's sort of what the Bible means when it says, "Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses" (Proverbs 10:12). Hateful and unloving actions and attitudes cause a lot of conflict and strife-not just for the people who are hated but for the people doing the hating! But loving actions and attitudes protect you from a lot of that stuff. Love not only makes it easier for you to get along with other people, it makes them more willing to overlook your faults and forgive your mistakes. Love makes your life more pleasant and peaceful.
Love is another way in which obeying God's commands turns out to be good for us; it protects us from many fights and feuds and provides more peace and happiness in our life, too.
REFLECT: God's commands are given to us for our own good. Does his command to love one another protect us from anything? If so, what? Does his command to love one another provide us with anything? If so, what?
PRAY: "God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving your loving commands to me. Help me to remember that your commands are given to me for my own good. Help me to love others more and more, especially..."