"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins".
Either because they have become too busy with their spouses, their children, or their jobs, many women today cannot seem to find much time or room for close friendships in their lives. While some women are perfectly capable of finding complete happiness and fulfillment in their families, most also have a need for a close circle of friends that can provide them with additional love and support.
For many women the need for friendship can be a deeply spiritual one. God often speaks to us through our friends, and letting those important relationships wilt away can lead to deep feelings of loneliness and spiritual unease. Scripture recognizes this fundamental human need to make connections with other people. In a beautiful, spiritually encouraging quote from the First Epistle of Peter, we read:
"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)
Let's break down these verses and allow them to be our guide in discovering why you should not ignore your spiritual need for friendship.
- "Use whatever gift you have received to serve others."
No human in and of themselves is complete because God has given each of us our own unique set of gifts. We all rely on each other to get through the day, sometimes much more than we realize. Having a solid group of friends that you can rely on effectively gives you access to skills that you may not possess yourself. Our gifts have all been given to us so that we can use them to serve others to the best of our abilities.
- "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
The world can sometimes be lonely and inhospitable. The one place where we can usually seek solace and comfort is among our friends and loved ones. Not having a friendly face or a comforting hug to turn to often makes the world seem more menacing and dangerous than it actually is. It is only in the presence of friends that we can truly feel empowered and encouraged enough to overcome all of the challenges that face us.
- "Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
Love is the fundamental message of the Christian faith. God created us out of love and died on the cross for us out of love. Nothing can match the great and unfathomable love that God has for us, but we can find a reflection of it in the eyes of our friends. The love that we receive from them can be powerful enough to save us from our own failings.
Do not pass up on these spiritual benefits of friendship by being too busy to reconnect with your friends. If your busy schedule has made you socially isolated, then it is time to re-evaluate some of your commitments and make time for the people who truly make life worth living.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.