Linus Van Pelt, better known as simply “Linus,” was a mainstay in the Peanuts comic strip. Witty and wise, yet insecure, Linus constantly carried a security blanket. We can identify. We have our fears and insecurities too.
The disciple Peter knew something about fear. When Jesus was arrested, Peter displayed courage by following the Lord into the courtyard of the high priest. But then he began to show his fear by lying to protect his identity (John 18:15–26). He spoke disgraceful words that denied his Lord. But Jesus never stopped loving Peter and ultimately restored him (see John 21:15–19).
Peter’s emphasis on love in 1 Peter 4:8 came from one who had experienced the deep love of Jesus. And he, in turn, stressed the importance of love in our relationships with the words “above all.” The intensity of the verse continues with the encouragement to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Have you ever needed that kind of “blanket”? I have! After saying or doing something I later regretted, I have felt the chilly draft of guilt and shame. I have needed to be “covered” in the manner that Jesus covered disgraced, shame-filled people in the Gospels.
To followers of Jesus, love is a blanket to be graciously and courageously given away for the comfort and reclamation of others. As recipients of such great love, let us be givers of the same.
Father, Your love, in and through Jesus, has rescued us time and time again. Help me to be an instrument of Your saving love for others.
God loves you and me—let’s love each other.
We may wonder how Peter could deny his Lord (John 18:15–27). One reason was that Peter’s security was shaken. He had just seen Jesus beaten, falsely accused, and mocked; and now feared for his own life. He was also spiritually weak. Just hours before, Jesus had warned Peter that he would betray Him (13:31–38). Yet when Jesus led His disciples to the garden and urged them to watch and pray, Peter and the others slept. Despite Peter’s denial, Jesus forgave him and restored him (John 21:15–19).