Love Covers a Multitude of Sins

Love covers a multitude of sins…” 1 Peter 4:8b

In context, this scripture says, “Most importantly, love each other ·deeply [earnestly], because love ·will cause people to forgive each other for many sins [L covers a multitude of sins; Prov. 10:12Luke 7:46–47].” 1 Peter 4:7-8

From a previous entry, “Before everything, earnestly hold fast to our esteem for one another because preference and goodwill for one another veils a great number of failures.” (broken down using Greek translations of each word from bible.cc)

When I’ve heard that passage, I understood that to mean hide, cover over, and keep private. So as I ponder this today, I think of my relationship with my sisters and my parents, and the book I’ve written, and the blogs I’ve posted. With that I can see that I have not loved them deeply or earnestly. I have not loved. I have not allowed Christ to live His life through me towards them, actively done what the Lord prefers, embraced God’s best offer for my life towards them, nor obeyed His choices through His power in regards to them.

I have not hidden, covered over, nor kept their sins private regarding my wounds. If I had loved them as earnestly as I had in the past, I’d have continued to do so. So in my anger, I ought to have covered the offender while addressing the moral content of the offense.  I allowed myself to become provoked, exasperated, and so deeply discouraged that I no longer sought to cover them. For that I am truly sorry.

As I’ve studied from the passage addressing going to bed angry, I was not to fight it out and allow myself to be out of control and hurt others until it was figured out. No, in our anger we are not to sin. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29-30

I am sorry for exposing those I felt hurt by publicly for their offenses. I could have addressed my pain in a more loving manner towards them while still processing through all I needed to work through, while addressing the hurts that so deeply penetrated my core, while working to find God’s grace to best understand how and why they impacted me as they had and have.

I sought to take redress in my own hands, when I should have taken what I was working through as an opportunity to challenge myself to work through my anger and control my tongue, to speak forth helpful truths to those around me, to let all bitterness be put away from me; to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving as Ephesians 4:31-32 states, especially seeing as that was the end result.

Does this mean I am not still working through hurt and anger, especially over things I can not control or even change? No. I am still wrestling through these things, however I strive to no longer hold onto discontentment in my spirit, to remove my impulsive outbursts of passion, to control my passionate feelings against the hurts I’ve endured, and to not be slow to call something good that is good and bad that is bad. I am a useful, compassionate, merciful, forgiving child of God, and I want to bless Him in all I do… it’s my prayer that I only continue to grow in these gifts from Him, to bless and honor those around me.

 Lord, forgive me for not loving in the way You prefer. I see how I could have addressed the struggle inside and the pains of trauma in a different way. Please use all of it as a goodness in the lives of those who love You, despite the mistakes I’ve made. Use this to be yet another testimony in my life as I seek to do better by You as I move forward. Thank You for never leaving me and for guiding me to live righteously, as I struggle in my desires of the flesh. More of You and less of me. Make me more aware of Your gift of power inside me and how to utilize it in a way that honors You with my life. Thank You for all You are doing and have yet to do in my life. Amen.
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I Only Want God’s Best For You

You didn’t help me but I still love you. I don’t hold you responsible for my decisions that led to failure nor for my decisions that led to great success.

God is bigger than the hurt you try to inflict.  What you’ve done and continue to do is wrong, but it doesn’t have to define you.  God is bigger.

Despite what you may think or believe, I love you and I want you to live a great life. I want you to be closely connected with a support system who give you encouragement, and love to pursue all that the Lord has for you. I want you to be wrecked by the Lord and know amazing grace, joy, peace, and goodness. I want you to conquer all that comes against you in your walk with Christ, and for you to take what gifts God has given you, to touch the world in the way God has purposed and planned for you.

I want only God’s best for you.

I also want God’s best for me… and I’m thankful for my support system, I’m thankful for the encouragement and love in my life to pursue what God has for me. I’m thankful that the Lord reveals my blemishes and refines my life. I’m thankful for His grace over every aspect of my life, and that despite how short I fall from His amazing glory, that He’s still gifted me with joy, peace, and goodness in my life. I’m thankful that in His strength, I’m able to conquer all that comes against me as I feebly walk out Christ’s power in my life. I’m thankful.

My desires for your life and my own are not mutually exclusive. We can both walk out God’s best, have joy, experience grace and peace and love. We may not be that powerful, but God is that powerful.

Despite what you believe, I love you. I won’t let you hurt me anymore, so I’ve walked away from you, but I love you and I want only God’s best for you.

After a Change of Mind

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:1-4 (emphasis mine)

REPENT:

Original Word: μετανοέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: metanoeó
Phonetic Spelling: (met-an-o-eh’-o)
Short Definition: I repent, change my mind
Definition: I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.

3340 metanoéō (from 3326 /metá, “changed after being with” and 3539 /noiéō, “think”) – properly, “think differently after,” “after a change of mind“; to repent (literally, “think differently afterwards”).

Saying sorry does not always mean someone is repentant.  Saying sorry is not what Jesus is talking about in this passage. It’s an important distinction that many abusers manipulate with.  J was one of those – she said she was sorry for her humanness, for being hurtful once again, but in the next breath tearing down my character as if her hurtfulness is justified. That’s not repentance.

Repentance is vulnerability, it’s remorse, it’s humble; it allows another person to choose to forgive or not. It’s having a different mindset about what we’ve done and seeking to never do it again. If we are justifying our actions while apologizing, we are NOT repenting. This is so important for Christian victims of abuse to know because soooo many are convinced that they are not good Christians if they don’t just forgive and let it go.

Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Matthew 18:21-22

In context, we see that Jesus doesn’t just say to forgive – He says to forgive those who repent.  I’ve given J, L, and my dad over to the Lord. My desire is for them to have a heart change and if I never see it, so be it, but that God would encounter them and love them.  I desire mercy and grace for them, but I will no longer allow them to harm me.

“If anyone does not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town, as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5

shake the dust off your feet

Our Voice

I’ve been afraid to speak out, afraid to be a bad Christian somehow if I talked about how others hurt me, and afraid that I’d be dishonoring my family.  It’s so important that people understand that forgiveness and honor do not mean ignoring and hiding. Ignoring how it feels to be mistreated and abused and hiding the pain.

Forgiveness is our state of heart toward the other person – do we pray against them or do we pray for them to encounter Christ and to be changed?

Honor is a perception of value and worth – do we see them as worthy of God’s love or do we disrespect them as though they have no value?

OUR VOICE MATTERS… the twisting of scripture has allowed the enemy to continue to beat down the brokenhearted while the wicked roams freely.  I have a voice and I’m using it for the truth – for what God wants me to voice!

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We destroy our enemies through love – love doesn’t enable evil.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

 

It’s All About God

Forgiveness.

Forgiveness to me doesn’t always mean a restored relationship, though sometimes it can. Forgiveness to me means releasing someone from the spiritual burden of their sins, praying for them to encounter Christ at a new level, and to leave justice and mercy in the hands of God. It’s trusting that God will help me to heal in such a way that the relationship might be restored someday, even if not in this lifetime but in heaven; trusting that there is no more pain or sorrow as His Word states, then the damage of the sins done against me will be repaired.

I pray for those who’ve trespassed against me and desire that they experience a relationship with Jesus; that they find healing and wholeness. I see that as loving my enemies. I see that as having grace and mercy. I see that as forgiveness.

I don’t see that it has to also include keeping in relationship with them but when the circumstances allow for that, it’s precious. It’s so hard and painful to have to let go of people we love and it’s hard not to want to have a relationship with someone our hearts have been softened to because the love of Jesus is inside of us. It’s not an easy way out… ❤

I see a heart lacking forgiveness as one who sees their own sin as less than someone else’s, that they should not see mercy. I see us do this often when we hear someone in the news do something so tragic and outside of our understanding that we can’t possibly imagine that they’d be forgiven by our Father in Heaven… but that’s loving our enemies, loving the unlovable, forgiving the repentant sinner, no matter the sin, and standing in the gap and praying for their relationship with the Lord to be renewed. Praying for healing, wholeness, and for them to be blessed.

Sometimes that is coming alongside them and sometimes it’s declaring truths into the spiritual realm on their behalf, but it’s always with a heart of loving Jesus and therefore loving people as He loves them. Love means you want the best for them… loving our enemies means wanting what’s best for them, even when that means people who have done awful things, who’ve wronged us, who’ve broken and bruised us – that they too would encounter Jesus and be radically changed. That we wouldn’t make it about us, but that we’d remember ‘it’s not about me – it’s all about God.’ ❤