Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8, NIV*
The Apostle Peter places a lot of emphasis in this letter on how Christians should conduct ourselves in relationships and in hardships. He’s already told us to “love one another deeply, from the heart [or from a pure heart]” (1 Peter 1:22b, NIV)
Now he reminds us again to love deeply, and says it covers a multitude of sins. He’s been urging us to live well in relationship, and I think this is the “how”.
Most translations that I checked speak of love covering sins. (I love Bible Gateway). The Message expresses it as “love makes up for practically anything.” The Amplified Bible says love “forgives and disregards the offenses of others.”
Peter’s not saying love will turn a blind eye, excuse or enable wicked or destructive behaviour. It seems to me the “sins” love covers are twofold:
People are irritating (rumour has it, this includes me!). If I choose to ignore the thing(s) that grate me in another person, choose to focus on that person’s value and to love him or her, that helps me obey Peter’s teaching and live like Jesus.
And by choosing to love rather than to be critical, I’m dealing with or negating sin in my own life. Jesus had lots to say about being critical and judgmental.
Father, You know true, Christ-like love doesn’t come naturally… or easily. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who longs to produce it in me. Please help me learn to rest more in Him and not hinder His fruit in me. Help me to love others, because You love them. Thank You for loving me too.
For this week’s song, I chose Don Francisco’s “I Could Never Promise You,” which is often thought of as a wedding song but which I think applies just as well to all of a Christian’s relationships. How can we promise to love others without Jesus’ enabling? At the end of the video there’s some conversation about that.