This past Sunday, as we observed Mother’s Day, it was such a reminder of how much influence we have in the lives of others, not just children. Each one of us has a sphere of influence, and there are strong directives in the Word for taking our roles seriously.
There are several passages in 1 Peter that are particularly striking. In chapter 4 we find, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” In chapter 1 we find, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”
He repeats the phrase “love deeply”. We are not just to love, but to do it deeply, “from the heart”. We cannot be nice to each other on Sundays and think we have fulfilled what Jesus and Peter are talking about.
But how difficult. How much TIME it takes to love deeply. Of course we know we have the Holy Spirit to help, if we but ask. But also, let us remember how nurturing God’s love is toward us. He is a model of patience and deep knowledge of others.
I love the way C.S. Lewis puts it in The Four Loves. He reminds us of how we feel as parents (in our best moments), when little ones come to us with needs. We see how helpless they are, how they cannot accomplish the thing they need without us, and we are moved to help. This is God’s love towards us AND his compelling help as we direct our puny efforts toward loving others deeply.
It’s a chain of influence…chains are powerful, and this is of the best kind.