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How can we above all love each other deeply (1 Peter 4:8)?

love each other deeply

The Bible contains numerous verses on love, including 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” The instruction to prioritize love first appears in 1 Peter 1:22 and is emphasized again in the fourth chapter. Peter’s use of the phrase above all underscores the importance of this command. Furthermore, the Greek word translated as “deeply” is also used to describe the effort exerted by an athlete striving to win a race. We are called to make every effort to exhibit this quality of love for each other.

Putting Peter’s admonition to “love each other deeply” alongside other passages of Scripture (such as 1 Corinthians 13:4–7; Matthew 22:37–39; 1 John 4:7–8; Romans 13:10), we clearly see that love should be the believer’s highest concern.

Regrettably, Christians have not always set a good example of love. The early church struggled with believers displaying unloving behavior, and we continue to grapple with this issue today. On one hand, we can acknowledge that we still possess sinful natures that make it difficult to love others as Scripture prescribes. On the other hand, we are also new creations with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us (2 Corinthians 5:17). With the Spirit’s power, we have no excuse. John goes even further by associating knowledge of God with love (1 John 4:8). So, how can we love each other deeply? Here are some pointers from Scripture:

1. Accept God’s love. The apostle John described love as originating from God: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). God is the Source of all that is good, including love. Humans can only demonstrate self-sacrificial love by accepting the love God showed humanity when He sent His Son as an atonement (John 3:16). From a psychological perspective, children born in a loving environment tend to thrive in life (, accessed 7/19/23). How much more those who have received love from the Father? When we accept God’s love, we respond by loving Him in return, and that lays the foundation for loving people rightly. It also opens the way for the Spirit to produce His fruit in us.

2. Walk in the Spirit. After emphasizing the freedom we have in Christ, Paul instructs us not to misuse this freedom for selfish desires, but to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). However, Paul recognizes the struggle every Christian faces as the Spirit and the flesh have conflicting desires (verse 17). The solution to this struggle is to walk in the Spirit, adopting a daily lifestyle of yielding to the godly influence of the Holy Spirit, who leads us to perform deeds that glorify God. As we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” is produced in our lives (Galatians 5:22–23). By walking in the Spirit and bearing His fruit, we can use our freedom to serve each other in love.

3. Forgive faults. In our focal verse, Peter states that “love covers over a multitude of sins” (cf. Proverbs 10:12). We should acknowledge the imperfections of others, forgiving hurts and overlooking faults. Loving others deeply does not mean avoiding the truth, but it entails having a kind attitude and being willing to show grace and mercy. It’s part of doing to others as we would have them do to us (Luke 6:31).

4. Honor others. While modern culture encourages us to put ourselves first, God calls us to “honor others above ourselves” (Romans 12:10). To honor is to show value and respect to someone, treating him or her as significant and valuable. It is a great expression of genuine love.

5. Set love as the highest goal. In our daily lives, love should be a fundamental quality in our relationships with others. Jesus identifies love as the distinguishing characteristic of His disciples, both then and now (John 13:34–35). Let us prioritize true, biblical, sacrificial love, even in the face of our faults, disagreements, and differences. Christians are part of a large family, and we should behave as proper brothers and sisters.

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How can we above all love each other deeply (1 Peter 4:8)?
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This page last updated: August 21, 2023