Cannibalism in Brazil engraving by Theodor de Bry to illustrate Hans Staden’s account of his captivity in 1557 (from here (

Galatians 5:14-15 New American Standard Bible

14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

I cannot play any musical instrument. Not a singer. I just know enough about music to know when musicians are playing in harmony, and it sounds awful when they are not.

When we don’t love and care about each other, we cannot live together in harmony. Instead, we strive against each other. Since we were made to love each other, for all practical purposes we devour each other.

James describes the situation with these words.

James 4:1-6 New American Standard Bible

[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “[e]He [f]jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

How does love correct this problem? Love allows us to think of others before we think of our self. Consider this proverb.

Proverbs 10:12 New American Standard Bible

12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.

When we love another person, we work to overlook their sins against us. When we love another person, that person is more likely to overlook the sins we commit against them. We forgive each other when we love each other.

Therefore, consider how the Apostle Peter made use of this proverb.

1 Peter 4:7-11 New American Standard Bible

The end of all things [a]is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of [b]prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so[c]as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving [d]by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

When we behave like Christians, then we are known by our love. Love motivates us to forgive each other and to be generous to each other. Love does not justify us. Love enables us to accept the Holy Spirit because we love God. Love enables us to have mercy, to forgive another when that other deserves punishment. Love enables us to have the grace to give each other what we don’t deserve. Love enables us to live in harmony and enjoy life even when we have little and must work hard just to survive because we have each other’s love.


  1. Tom, insanitybytes22,

    As you probably know I keep repeating the motto of my blog, “What the world needs now in addition t love is wisdom.

    The use of the word love has very different meanings to a lot of various different people.

    Tom’s post use of the word based on the Bible verse is the wise use in my opinion.

    Sadly, we need to be taught the wisdom to understand the different uses of the word love.

    That is what is seems to lacking in our contemporary times in my opinion.

    Regards and goodwill blogging..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really needed to read this, this morning in particular.
    I’m finding it very very difficult to have love in my heart for people throwing scat.
    Probably a sign I need to get more involved in the community, and less involved in social media.
    But of course that’s nearly impossible with the shut downs around here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Liz

      The shutdowns are a pain. I was doing Meal on Wheels, but not now.

      Don’t know the situation in your area, but Election Officers will be needed. Even with mail-in balloting, someone has to count the vote. Myself, I expect to be supporting early voting at the library several days a week.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen, Tom! Well said. Love covers a multitude of sins. We either love one another or we bite and devour one another. It just is what it is.

    Love is also protective of the people it cares about. I have to say that because I’m living in an area that is encouraging lawlessness and destruction either deliberately or through political negligence. That’s not love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @insanitybytes22

      When we don’t love God, we don’t obey Him. We do what seems right in our own eyes. How does that work? How does it work anywhere where everyone is looking out just for number one?

      Liked by 1 person

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