“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
I am a dog person. There has been at least one in my household as far back as I can remember. Always my special companion and best friend. Growing up in the country, we also had cats, but they were designated as “barn cats.” I interacted with them in a totally different way than with my dogs. I liked them, but on a different level of understanding.
A year ago, a little orange and white kitten decided that he would adopt my family. This included six dogs, one of which detested cats. Knowing the danger he faced, I did my best to run him off. After an unsuccessful month, I made him an appointment with the vet to have him neutered and vaccinated. He would be part of the family in spite of the difficulties ahead.
As I have watched the attitude changes from hostility to tolerance, to acceptance, to playfulness, I realized that Christians deal with some of the same attitudes with each other. Yes, we are all part of the family of God, but our personalities don’t automatically mesh because of it. We are still individuals with likes and dislikes that sometimes cause hurt feelings when complaints are given voice to.
How do we, as followers of Christ, overcome the hurt or hard feelings toward a fellow believer? We must make demonstrating the love of Jesus toward others our first priority. We all suffer from imperfection. We still fail to obey God at times. When another believer has offended us, love allows us to overlook the hurt and build each other up.
Keep using God’s gifts to serve one another. It is difficult for resentment to flourish in a community that is rich in Christ-like love. Just like my dogs accepted the cat and his quirky personality, Christians can accept that God calls us according to His purpose and each person has a place in the family.
Thank you for my community of fellow believers. Help me overcome any past hurts and encourage them through Your power.