“The covering power of love is stressed twice in Scripture. It is mentioned in the Old Testament by Solomon and then in the New Testament by the apostle Peter. The wording is slightly different, but the meaning is the same. Here are the texts in conversation:
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sin.” Proverbs 10:12
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:7-8
“William Barclay once wrote, “Christian love is not an easy, sentimental reaction. It demands everything a man has of mental and spiritual energy.” He was right on target. We must love the unlovely and the unlovable. We must love in spite of insult and injury. We must love even when our love is not returned.
“In the Letters of Peter and Jude, Raymond Kelcy commented on the covering power of love:
“. . .sins are covered in the attitude of the one loving. A Christian who loves his brother will continue to love him in spite of his faults, his imperfections and his weaknesses. He does not take note of them and hold them against his brother. He does not broadcast his knowledge of his brother’s failures. He . . . Does not take notice if the daily mistakes and shortcomings of others.”
“It is possible for our love to be so great, so mature, so complete that the imperfections of others will be so hidden that we will never notice them. This is what Solomon and Peter were saying. Our love should be such that we are kind to the flaws in others even to the point of completely overlooking them. This does not mean that brother cannot go to brother, or even to the church, when such is necessary (Matthew 18:15-17).
“Love is,” wrote Albert Branes, “of inestimable value in the treatment of others.” We need to remember also that as individual Christians, we too have faults and are prone to failings. It is important in these that our brethren love us to the same extent that we are taught to love them.
“Where there is no love there is no forgiveness, no understanding, no longsuffering and no patience. If there is no love there is hate, faultfinding, mote hunting, criticalness and just plain old meanness!
“Let us learn 1 Corinthians 13. Let us follow the true pattern of love. A 1 Corinthians 13 love mentality will help us reach the point in our love that we will be able to demonstrate the kind of love the Bible encourages.
“True love has covering power. Does yours?”
Jimmy Edwards June 10 1990