Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

HESED Vol 8 No 43

November 17, 2009

Dear Friend,

How do you react when a fellow Christian grieves you, deceives you, hurts you?  Last week I bumped into a person who had let me down and later was upset to talk with a friend suffering because people were talking behind his back.


My own initial reaction in both cases was not very pleasant.  All sorts of negative thoughts and feelings began to stir when unbidden the words of the Apostle Peter popped to mind, “Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.”  I Peter 4:8*  Indeed God’s love covers our sins!


The Hebrew word hesed is translated steadfast love, it is God’s enduring love.  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love [hesed] endures forever.”  Psalm 118:1**  And in the fifth verse of Psalm 118 we read, “In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.”  In other words, “his love endures forever” isn’t merely a general comment about God’s love, it’s personal.  God sets you and me free!  God's love in our lives enables us to set others free as well!


I like to understand hesed as God saying to us, “I will never withdraw my love from you - never!”  When we make choices in our behavior that grieve our Lord, what does God do?  God keeps on loving us!


We demonstrate hesed love ourselves when we are tempted to retaliate, criticize or withdraw and instead we choose to respond in the spirit of, “I will never withdraw my love from you - never!”  That is the love that covers a multitude of sins.


Such love is very costly to us.  It cost the Lord his life on the cross!  In fact it is beyond our normal human capacity to demonstrate God’s hesed love.  So love by faith - ask God to give you God’s own hesed love for people so that God’s love in you may cover the multitude of sins in your own life and in the lives of others.


With joy - E. Stanley Ott                                            

Copyright 2009 E. Stanley Ott           

*Scripture from the NRSV

**Scripture from the NIV