“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” – 1Peter 4:8
The love of Christ, If we truly receive Him, is never contingent on the actions of anyone. If you are hurt by another, is the love of Christ less fulfilling? This is not to say that we are incapable of being hurt by others. But when we may feel hurt, it is the opportunity to remember the love we’ve received through Christ. “To the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). The fullness of Him fills us. He’s not partly in us, nor does He almost fill us, but He fully fills us. The love that He filled us with is the kind of love that is not hindered; even when shamed to a cross.
The gospel we believe is an invitation to participate in a love that holds no conditions. “we love because He first loved us” (1John 4:19). When Jesus was being shamed to crucifixion, He was in the position where all twelve of His closest friends departed from Him in His greatest time of need. Yet after the resurrection, He appeared back to them saying, “peace be with you,” and gave them the most precious gift; the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Do you find it hard to call someone a friend because they’ve betrayed or neglected you in any way? Consider the love you’ve been given and be willing to give them the gift of Holy Spirit in the same way He’s been given to you.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). The bible says that Jesus cried these words out. He does not say, “he who’s been treated well by people will flow rivers of living water.” No, He says, “He who believes in me” rivers will flow from his innermost being. If we truly believe in the fulfillment of Jesus and are founded in Him, how can a feeling of being hurt by anyone stop the flow of living water coming from within us? On the contrary, He is our source of fulfillment. As we keep our souls established in Him, He will naturally manifest the fruit of who He is.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit is what manifests in our lives like rivers of living water when we truly believe in Jesus. People are not required to act a certain way in order for you to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. Yet, when we respond in the manner of offense of any kind, we choose to ignore the grace of God that should empower us to love unconditionally. You would then have a law of requirement for the behavior of others to fit your needs before allowing any fruit of the Spirit to be born. But we’ve been given the mind of Christ; you know His thoughts (1Corinthians 2:16). The same way He thought to lay down His life for us while we were sinners, so can we walk un-offended for the sake of the world.
“The one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:8