Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves.
We call John the Apostle of Love, but the other New Testament writers give equal emphasis to the duty of Christian love. The most wonderful chapter ever written in order to extol love is by Paul – the matchless thirteenth of First Corinthians.
Then Peter also exhorts that “above all things,” that is, even above prayer, we are to be fervent in our love among ourselves, for love covereth a multitude of sins. That is, love overlooks even a multitude of faults and flecks and sins in others.
This lesson cannot be repeated too often. We do not naturally love people – it is something we have to learn to do. If Paul’s definition is to be regarded as the standard, most of us have a good deal yet to learn about loving before we reach it. Peter also makes the lesson strong, exhorting us to be fervent – that is, warm, tender, affectionate in our loving of each other.
The only way to get such Christian love into our lives is to let Christ’s own love into our hearts.