How did you fare on getting through the stress of the Thanksgiving holiday? Did it fill you up with large helpings of turkey, as well as fun times spent with family and friends? Or were you fed up by someone’s hurtful words and/or actions?
Sadly, family gatherings often come and go with heaping portions of both pleasure and pain.
That’s why I’m doing this series—Loving Strong through Holiday Stress. I hope to give you (and, quite frankly, me) the handles and insights we need to combat stress through Christlike loving attitudes and actions.
I am once again pulling from my 6 Shades of Love Facebook Bible study (that you can still join through Dec. 8, 2017!) for a way to love others like Christ when stress and hurt run high during the holidays.
The verse and thought I want to focus on is this …
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter 4:8
This powerful verse reminds me of a story called, Nails in the Fence. The story is about a father who told his son to hammer a nail into a fence every time the son lost his temper. The father began to notice that the boy was learning to better control his temper through this “exercise,” and here’s what happened next …
“The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”
We create stress, damage and wounds when we act in unloving ways with others. Sadly, this story leaves us with nothing but a sobering, albeit important, warning and reality. We can’t undo the hurt or damage, even when we apologize and make amends.
However, there’s a better hope …
God’s truth, in 1 Peter 4:8, leaves us with a powerful reminder of the healing power of His love in and through us. For love covers the “holes” or wounds left as a result of our sin against others, as well as covering, like a warm and healing blanket, the sins committed against us.
[bctt tweet=”Make no mistake! No other love but God’s love can do this—cover our wounds AND sins.” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I also think that this mirrors the way Christ’s death on the cross and the blood He shed on our behalf covers our sin as well. Don’t you agree?
[bctt tweet=”His love flowed in red, redemptive streams for you and me—covering our shame and guilt!” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Here are 3 important ways to cover with love when stressed and wounded …
1. Recognize the damage you’ve inflicted and “hole” you’ve left behind.
That is, if you are the guilty party, though aren’t we all! A guilty party almost always includes a “party of two!” 😉
2. Grieve the damage others have inflicted on you.
Seek Christ’s comfort and love that not only covers your wound, but also brings healing as you surrender your offender at His nail-pierced feet.
3. Rely on God’s power to love and “cover.”
Whether you are on the receiving end, or the one who inflicted the pain, embrace and apply God’s love to your offender, as well as receiving it for yourself. We are never more like Jesus than when we love in this way! #lovecovers
Here’s a preview of my notes from this verse using the WORTHY Bible study method. And if you’re interested in this group (which closes on December 8, 2017), then friend me at Beth Oster Steffaniak, and let me know you’d like to be added, and I’ll get on it ASAP!
How have you experienced this phenomenon of God’s love covering your sin or wound?
How do you think loving like this decreases the stress in our lives?
Click at the following link, if you’d like to read the other posts in this series – Loving Strong through Holiday Stress.
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Dream Together Linkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Glimpses Linkup, Tune in Tuesday, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Faith and Friends, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday