Anyone who responds to Jesus’ command, ‘Love one another’ with, ‘Yes, but…’ has yet to allow those words to sink in.
With Peter, we say ‘Even though all become deserters, I will not’ (Mark 14:29). With Peter, we believe – passionately, and genuinely – that the measure of the love between Jesus and us is our being more faithful than, potentially, everyone else. Last man standing. Whereas, in fact, the measure of the love between us is that Jesus is as faithful to us as he is to everyone else who, sooner or later, falls short.
Jesus is more gentle towards us than we are to ourselves – for so often our hardness towards others is an outward projection of our hardness towards ourselves, our fear that if some secret or other be placed under enough pressure, we too will desert. Yes, we will. But the last man standing doesn’t win the game: we fail, and triumph, together.
Love one another.
And leave the rest to God, who always wills to turn death to life.