“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”—1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)
About 10 years ago one of my church members offended me bad. I was relatively young in the faith, a new mom, still quick to want to cut someone, and insecure about my mothering. This was a lethal combination ready to be doused on someone who questioned my maternal ability. And I was ready to throw it on Marsha, who to my god daughter, Bobbi, said that I must not hug my toddler son much because he was so clingy to Bobbi. Being only 16, Bobbi thought the best thing to do was to share with me what happened. “Sister Rhonda, I wasn’t going to tell you, but it bothered me. I see you with Joshua and know how much you hug him. I also thought you and Sister Marsha were cool. Why would she say something like that?”
“I don’t know and may never know,” I said, deciding to let Marsha’s comment go, but I clung to it. Marsha had been to my house for bible study, we were both in a small prayer group, and we had exchanged experiences about our young sons, each our first. We had a rapport so why would she say that about me? Had my fear of not being affectionate to Joshua come to pass? The more I thought, I became angry and knew I needed to confront so I wouldn’t affront her. I offended her anyway.
After I shared my offense, she never denied the comment but dogged me for listening to a teenager and then told me what she disliked about me and my family and how we made her feel inadequate. I got off the phone and regretted the confrontation. My huband, Flynn, helped me see that if I hadn’t confronted her I might not know how she really felt. Now I could pray specifically for her needs. After shouting and pouting about the incident and what I knew I needed to do.
“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them” (Romans 12:14)
I prayed. God showed me the real source of her hurt and led me to write and give her a poem based on the revelation. She cried and gave me a monogrammed shirt. Our fellowship was restored.
Take a Risk Challenge: Think about someone who has offended you and pray that God will show you how to bless, not curse, the person. Blessing and not cursing an offender is truly a radical act of love. Remember, love covers a multitude of sins.
My One Thousand Gifts List
The devotion time at L.I.F.T.
Connecting with the women at L.I.F.T.
Having the support of my mom, aunt, Nichole, Wayne and Ruth at L.I.F.T.
Remembering my message without being glued to my notes
The name of Jesus being lifted high as Lord and Savior
Ten women at L.I.F.T. getting saved
Selling 14 books
Taking pictures with the ladies
Wayne and Nichole helping with book sales
Ruth for audio taping and videotaping my message