An Athlete of Love

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8,

Fervently, earnestly, show deep love, maintain constant love.

These are some examples of how this verse is translated in an effort to show how powerful this love is. If you look at the original Greek word that describes how you should love, it means something like an athlete enduring to the very last, using every muscle, straining to reach the finish line because it’s more vital than comfort. More paramount than pain. More important than injury. It’s the Olympic gold medal of love.

I think it means that if you get injured in life or in your goal to love, or you make mistakes (because you’re human, you’re not perfect), to heal and get back up. Because the test of an athlete is not simply the one victory, or the display of ability, but to keep doing it well over and over and over again.

Of course, we will fail, and those we love will fail. I think this is what the verse means when it says that “love covers a multitude of sins.” That we will stumble and fall, sometimes we won’t try hard enough or be successful. But true love sees past our imperfections and knows that we are worthy to be loved. 

God wants us to be victorious. That doesn’t mean there won’t be injuries in the course of our career as people who love, but it does mean that ultimately, with God helping and healing us, we’ll win again and again.

PRAYER: God, please let me love in this way. Strongly, passionately, enduring, with every ounce of my being. Help me find that last ounce of strength to love when I feel like giving up. Lord forgive me for my imperfections, and let me feel Your forgiveness and love. Knowing that You see me when I stumble but also are there to pick me up and keep me going on this path towards Love.