Having the love which covers sin.
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:7,8
We speak about love so much in our society, that we can forget the power of it and what it can do. Love has become so familiar that some people assume they know all there is to know about it. This can cause us to hold a shallow view of love as we don’t see the need to look further. The truth is that God is love and no one can truly understand all there is to know about Him, or fathom the depths of His love for us.
There is a kind of love which cares in such a deep and passionate way that it covers even the darkness of sin.
We know that our sin is forgiven by God and taken away as far as the east is to the west. But our attitude and desire can still get caught out by sinful deeds, which may cause offence to others. Thankfully, God’s great love covers our sin and in turn, shows an example of how we should behave toward one another.
We are called to live in community with other people who share the love of God. This can lead to times of hurt and offence, if we let it. We will often find ourselves inadvertently causing an offence. There will be times when we need to forgive or overlook the offences of others.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offence. – Proverbs 19:11.
The kind of love which covers sin is that which sees and recognises an offence, but instead of carrying it, covers it.
The three sons of Noah give us a practical example in Genesis 9. When Ham saw his father in disgrace, he went and told his brothers. But instead of carrying the tale further, they ensured he was covered to maintain his dignity.
If you love someone, then you will not carry gossip about them or commit sin against them. In this way love covers and protects both them and you from potential sin.
This kind of covering sin comes with a cost. You may need to put your own feelings aside and think of others first. In a community of believers, we should all be covered and all feel the effects.
When we forgive others, we are showing the same compassion and love which God showed toward us in salvation.
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; – Romans 4:7
The love which covers sin is not blind or foolish. We cannot simply ignore sin or offence, we need to deal with it as God leads us. However, nothing is gained by carrying the tale.
Our sin was not hidden to God, it was an offence to Him. But He made a way to deal with it once and for all. He forgave our sin and then speaks of it no more.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” – Hebrews 8:12
This is the way we should deal with the offences of others, when they come our way. We need the kind of love for each other which forgives and covers sin, bearing all things. A love that:
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things – 1 Corinthians 13:7