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. (NIV)
The most hurtful thing that we could ever say to someone is “I don’t love you.” It is a phrase that signifies an end in a relationship and a separation between two individuals.
To be honest, many of us would never dream saying these words to someone. If a relationship is in trouble, we would likely work extremely hard to make sure that these words were never said. We would spend time with the person, invest more energy into the relationship, or try to figure out why there was strife in the relationship. We would make sure that the relationship is saved.
While many of us would never say “I don’t love you” to someone we are in a relationship with, we unfortunately say these words to people we do not know. By our words and actions, we say “I don’t love you” to people who are not in our communities, are different than us, believe different things, vote for different people, root for other teams, have lifestyles that we do not support, and so many other ways. We separate ourselves from those who are not “like us,” and by doing so we say “I don’t love you.”
Yet, the words from 1 Peter calls us to make every effort to reach out to the world in love as we would those who are close to us. We are called to spread hospitality through acts of loving generosity with all people, no matter if they are known or unknown. To do so is the greatest gift of welcoming and hope we could ever share.
Everyday is an opportunity to reach out and share love with someone we have never loved before. Maybe today is that day for you. How can you share kindness, peace, joy, hope, and certainly love with someone that you have often said is unworthy of being love?