Friday, July 17, 2009

Proverbs 10:12 Love Covers...

Today’s verse is a very important one… one that we should all memorize. The second half of this verse is God's ultimate Will for us to know and live... just as Jesus lived it out, even to dying to cover ALL of OUR sins.

Proverbs 10:12 (NKJV)

12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

The online dictionary defines “hatred” as: the emotion of intense dislike; a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action. It defines “strife” as: 1. Heated, often violent dissension; bitter conflict 2. A struggle, fight, or quarrel. 3. Contention or competition between rivals.

When people allow hatred to settle into their hearts, whether caused by a wrong done to them or a loved one, some kind of pain caused them or one they love, or any other reason, (covetousness, jealousy, etc.) sooner or later, those feelings will “bubble up” inside of them.

These strong feelings, will eventually cause conflict of some sort. Sometimes, this is deep within one’s own body, as stress compounds like cortisol pour into the system. These compounds will erode the natural, God-given immune system that was created to help us fight off diseases.

The following is taken from a website about Stress Management:

Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
*Impaired cognitive performance
*Suppressed thyroid function
*Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia

*Decreased bone density
*Decrease in muscle tissue

blood pressure
immunity and inflammatory responses
in the body, slowed wound healing,
and other health consequences

*Increased abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body. Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, the development of , higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), which can lead to other health problems!

Another thing that a continued, “simmering hatred” often does is to manifest outward problems, most typically anger issues, in a person’s life. They have anger that they just can’t seem to control, and that can come out in self-destructive behavior, as well as in violent displays and acts toward others.

Hatred is a sin! Jesus makes that clear in his teachings in Matt. 5:21 & 22:
Murder Begins in the Heart

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

The second part of this verse is the “cure” for these problems. It states: “love covers all sins.” When we are “born again” by asking Jesus to forgive our sins (that would lead us to eternal death), and to come and live within us with His Holy Spirit (leading us into God’s kingdom and eternal life), than that “renewed spirit” is one that God helps to grow into a forgiving, loving spirit as we grow and become more like Him.

This most often DOESN’T happen overnight… it often takes some time. Praying for the person or problem will allow God to work in our lives, give us self-control, and show us things that can change the “hatred” in our own hurting hearts. Once we reach a place of forgiveness, then the seed of love can grow. Here is what Jesus has to say on this subject in Luke 6: 27-36 :

Love Your Enemies
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

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