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The youth minister and I were discussing sermons, specifically how long they should be. We were both curious at how two different preachers could preach a lesson of the same quality for the same amount of time but one would be well received and the other criticized. As we talked, I remarked that I knew a preacher that was known for his bouts of long-windedness but that people didn’t complain rather they were cheerfully amused. I said it was because he was such a loving part of the lives of the congregation, a little bit of extra time on Sunday didn’t seem that bad. His love overrode his mistakes. I don’t think that phenomenon is just related to preachers.

We all have foibles and flaws. We talk too much. We forget to say “thank you”. We get lost in our own little world and ignore others. We interrupt. We are selfish, judgmental and just plain hard to be around (well, at least those are all true of me). But when we show love in what we do, those flaws don’t seem that bad. The love we have for others smooths out the bumps in own personality. 

That is why a spirit of love is vital not only for a preacher but for every Christian. As Peter puts it, in 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” You and I will never be perfect. We will say something we shouldn’t, do something we shouldn’t, offend, and upset those around us. However, when we act in love, those mistakes are so much easier to overcome. 

Love has the power to help us overcome our biggest problem, ourselves.

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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