“We love each other because He first loved us.” 1John 4:10 NLT 

Powerful words.

Hard words.

Sometimes confusing words. 

Strong words.

And a difficult calling, yet we are called by God to love in this way. In fact, it is the greatest commandment. 

It’s safe to say God will weave throughout our lives a few, maybe even a lot of unloveable and sometimes contentious people. And we are called to love them.

I confess sometimes to raising a brow at the unlovely, the unclean, the tattooed, multiple body piercing folks. When I scold myself for such critical thoughts, I realize my scars are no different than theirs. I just hide mine better. Sadly, we judge by the outside not the inside. And my heart wonders and aches for what paths they have walked to get to this place. What atrocities, they may have suffered. What painful places they have been where life pushed them down so hard.

And when I look on the inside I see the dirt and unclean on me. I see the scars and tattoos and piercings form old grudges and resentments, and angst of regret. 

But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am loved. 

That I have been graced by a loving God, who has cleaned me up. And He has called me to love others the same as He loves me.

I heard Beth Moore, in one of her studies say, “if you have been graced by God, you cannot withhold grace”. AMEN!

 

So how do I love the unlovely, or love the contentious, difficult people in my life?

1Peter 4:8 says “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” NLT 

Love covers a multitude of sins! My sins, your sins, the sins of the unlovely, the sins of the hateful, contentious person.

This is how we love.

Through lenses of love and grace and mercy.

The same lenses that God loves us through. 

These are the gaped open and hurting ones who need Jesus most. These are the ones that we are to allow His Love and Light shine through us, so that they may find Him in the darkness. The ones that we are called to grace with love as we have been. 

Oh Lord, I pray that you would give me eyes covered by Your lenses of Love and to help me to remember that love covers a multitude of sins, so that I may love others as you have loved me!

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn