3 Ways to Cover Others with Love When Hurt or Stressed

How did you fare on getting through the stress of the Thanksgiving holiday? Did it fill you up with large helpings of turkey, as well as fun times spent with family and friends? Or were you fed up by someone’s hurtful words and/or actions?

Sadly, family gatherings often come and go with heaping portions of both pleasure and pain.

Cover of love

That’s why I’m doing this series—Loving Strong through Holiday Stress. I hope to give you (and, quite frankly, me) the handles and insights we need to combat stress through Christlike loving attitudes and actions.

I am once again pulling from my 6 Shades of Love Facebook Bible study (that you can still join through Dec. 8, 2017!) for a way to love others like Christ when stress and hurt run high during the holidays.

The verse and thought I want to focus on is this …

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter 4:8

This powerful verse reminds me of a story called, Nails in the Fence. The story is about a father who told his son to hammer a nail into a fence every time the son lost his temper. The father began to notice that the boy was learning to better control his temper through this “exercise,” and here’s what happened next …

“The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

We create stress, damage and wounds when we act in unloving ways with others. Sadly, this story leaves us with nothing but a sobering, albeit important, warning and reality. We can’t undo the hurt or damage, even when we apologize and make amends.

However, there’s a better hope …

God’s truth, in 1 Peter 4:8, leaves us with a powerful reminder of the healing power of His love in and through us. For love covers the “holes” or wounds left as a result of our sin against others, as well as covering, like a warm and healing blanket, the sins committed against us.

Make no mistake! No other love but God’s love can do this—cover our wounds AND sins. Click To Tweet

I also think that this mirrors the way Christ’s death on the cross and the blood He shed on our behalf covers our sin as well. Don’t you agree?

His love flowed in red, redemptive streams for you and me—covering our shame and guilt! Click To Tweet

Here are 3 important ways to cover with love when stressed and wounded …

1. Recognize the damage you’ve inflicted and “hole” you’ve left behind.

That is, if you are the guilty party, though aren’t we all! A guilty party almost always includes a “party of two!” 😉

2. Grieve the damage others have inflicted on you.

Seek Christ’s comfort and love that not only covers your wound, but also brings healing as you surrender your offender at His nail-pierced feet.

3. Rely on God’s power to love and “cover.”

Whether you are on the receiving end, or the one who inflicted the pain, embrace and apply God’s love to your offender, as well as receiving it for yourself. We are never more like Jesus than when we love in this way! #lovecovers

Here’s a preview of my notes from this verse using the WORTHY Bible study method. And if you’re interested in this group (which closes on December 8, 2017), then friend me at Beth Oster Steffaniak, and let me know you’d like to be added, and I’ll get on it ASAP!

 

How have you experienced this phenomenon of God’s love covering your sin or wound?

 

How do you think loving like this decreases the stress in our lives?

 


Click at the following link, if you’d like to read the other posts in this series – Loving Strong through Holiday Stress.

Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayMoments of HopeLiterary Musing Mondays, Dream Together LinkupJennifer Dukes Lee, Glimpses Linkup, Tune in TuesdayBreak Through Homeschooling LinkupCoffee for Your HeartSitting Among FriendsFaith and FriendsFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

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  • Sarah Geringer

    Hi Beth. Almost every post of yours reminds me to forgive. I am grateful for your reminder again today. Love and cover–that’s the attitude I need to carry with me this Christmas. Blessings to you, friend.

    • That’s because it has been a theme in my life–to forgive and seek forgiveness, Sarah. I’m still rough around the edges, so I know this going to be a lifetime effort! 😉 Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, my friend! You and me both–carrying this one into the holidays and beyond!

  • Valerie Murray

    I always love being your neighbor on link-ups! Once again, this post hits home for me and reminds me to extend the same love and grace God has given me to others. I love the nail story!

    • The feeling is mutual, Valerie! I’m so glad it encouraged you. It’s a reminder that I am trying to keep in mind and live out too.

  • Susan

    THose two questions? Do you have a week? xo

    • Ha! Yes, when you’ve lived as long as we have, Susan, there are many stories to tell of how God covered our hurts! That’s for sure! Thanks for your shot of humor and ever-present friendship!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great and much-needed post, Beth, since this can be such a hard and unpleasant season…a total contradiction to its intent.

    Timely for me, as I was blindsided several times over Thanksgiving by direct verbal assault and offhand comments that were designed to be heard, and to wound.

    Since some of these came from trusted and well-loved sources, they can’t be simply dismissed; but they can be forgiven as the result of stress, insecurity, and at least the perception of justifiable grievance. Whether perception is fact is not for me to say. It may well be.

    Forgiveness does bring peace, but the effects, the holes in the fence, remain. They wanted to cut me off at the knees, and did. I won’t be bouncing back from this. It’s not a matter of will or faith. I’m at this point too ill and too tired to bother.

    • Yes, it can, Andrew.

      I’m so disheartened to hear that you’ve been carelessly hurt by the words of others. That’s the last thing you need! And yes, conserve your energy for living another day. Let Christ do the battling and convicting for you, my friend. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and feel deeply honored to have you visit today. I know each time you come it is an immense effort. I never take that for granted, but never expect it either.

  • Liz

    God’s love indeed covers a multitude of messes. All of them in fact. Lord, may I love and forgive as You do! Beautiful words here! Blessings!

    • Yes, I’m so glad that His word declares this in more ways than one, Liz! I join you in praying this prayer. It’s one that is spilling forth from my heart constantly, as I blow it day after day. Thanks for stopping by to encourage me, friend!

  • pioneerpat1

    Very beautiful post. Thanks for sharing it. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  • mmm … the holidays seem to bring up hidden emotions, old scenarios, and communication difficulties, don’t they, Beth.

    I love that you’re helping us navigate our relationships, gatherings, celebrations. Thank you, friend.

  • When we show the true love of God we take the power away from the hurt and evil done to us. I really enjoyed this post today. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup

  • Love is so powerful. And I’m forever grateful that He heals us. Loving this series, friend!