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
4 [a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 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. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures. 4 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. 5 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”? 6 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
7 The end of all things [a]is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of [b]prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 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.