The Golden Nugget: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” —1 Peter 4:8
Daily Verse: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” —1 Peter 4:8–10
Perhaps you find joy in doing things for people whom you love and cherish. But when others turn those acts of service into expectations of you, they become stressful pressures. And it can even happen with those whom you love and cherish. Add to that those relationships that seem to be so one-sided—you give and give, but the other person never responds in kind. There can be so much pressure to perform in so many roles—spouse, friend, child, parent, employee, coworker, teacher, student.
Relax. God has given you the talent to withstand—even to remove—the crushing pressure you feel to perform. He has given you the ability to love others. Love is where God meets earth. God’s presence unveils sanity when dealing with others. He provides peace, joyful hospitality, and hope for better outcomes. When you “perform” for others in sheer love, you will discover intimate companionship with God. Serving in love is how God’s people are defined.
- “Love each other deeply” does not mean you should participate in or condone behaviors that are dangerous, addictive, abusive, or harmful. How can saying no to those things be an act of love?
- What kinds of things put pressure on you to perform for others?
If a friend is placing undue pressure on you, have a conversation with that person and share with her or him how you feel. Ask for help in being relieved of that pressure, then offer to do the same for the other person in whatever way you can.