“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
[1 Peter 4:8-10]
The New Testament teaches that the followers of Jesus, or the Church, are one body. 1 Corinthians 12 paints a beautiful picture of how Christ desires His Church to be unified. Christians are a family and should be treated as such. In 1 Peter 4:8-10, Peter encourages believers to be faithful to one another in love. This poses the question: how are you and I loving the Church?
LOVE AND SERVICE
Verse 8 mentions that “love covers a multitude of sins.” What does this mean? This is referring to Proverbs 10:12 which says, “hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.” Peter is referring to Christians forgiving other Christians for sins committed to each other. He is teaching that we should forgive other people for all the ways they may have offended us. The next verse instructs readers to “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” I think it can be easy to serve someone out of a feeling of compulsion, but complain about how you have to serve. This is not Christian service. Christ calls us to humble ourselves and joyfully serve others! We should find joy in laying aside our own desires to give to other people. This is definitely not always easy. But I encourage you to pray for this. A lot. One of the biggest seasons of growth in my own life is when I prayed every day, asking God for humility and the desire to serve other people.
Peter goes on in verse 10 to say that we have each “received a special gift.” He also writes that we should be good stewards of these gifts. What gifts has God given you? A certain position? A certain personality? A longing to serve other people? Hospitality? Influence? You have special gifts that only you can offer. I urge you to consider how you are stewarding these gifts. Specifically, pair this idea with verses 8-9 about serving the Church. Think of ways you can leverage your gifts to strengthen and serve believers around you. God is the source of everything we have, so we should want to use the things He has given us to advance His Kingdom here on earth.
How are you forgiving or not forgiving others in your life today?
What gifts has God given me?
How am I using these gifts for the sake of others?
Father, thank You for the gifts You have given me. Help me to recognize these gifts, and show me how I can best use them in a way that honors You. Amen.