1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Sometimes I’ve wondered what “love covers a multitude of sins” means.
I thought of the snow covering all of the brown deadness in the winter, and covering junk piles, and dead branches on the trees. Then I was thinking, “But our love is to be fervent, so that messes up my analogy, because it would melt the snow.” (I still like it, though, because snow is such a pure white and makes everything look clean and bright and lovely!)
So I was trying to think of some other examples. Here are a few.
- Varicose veins – Hey, you can wear pants! 🙂
- Stretch marks from having babies – Nobody has to see them; wear long tops!
- Sagging skin from losing weight – clothes do amazing things! They cover up all kinds of flaws!
- Wrinkles or blemishes on the face. That’s what makeup is for. I once had a friend who sold Mary Kay, and her motto was, “If the fence needs painting, paint it!”
- So, yeah, painting an old fence can cover up a whole lot of imperfections, too!
- And what about watering a thirsty garden or lawn?
I’m sure you can think of more. Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Folks, our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, church family, and strangers that we meet as we go about our days have lots of imperfections – JUST LIKE WE DO! Their imperfections may be different than ours, but God calls us to love them as He loves us, unconditionally and sacrificially. In 1 John 4:20,21 He says,
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”
These are hard words for us to understand and accept. But think about it: don’t we want others to love us and treat us well, even though we make mistakes or are mean or crabby or whatever aggravates them about us? If they are kind to us when we are upset, doesn’t it help us calm down faster? If they humble themselves and say they’re sorry even though it was mostly us that actually started the fight, doesn’t that soften our heart and help us make up faster?
Sincere love, God’s kind of love, when poured out as a covering over a person who is in error in some way or another, can
- melt a hardened heart,
- put out the flame of anger,
- begin to dissolve the root of bitterness,
- break the bondage of hatred,
- help the person believe that it’s possible to change,
- trigger a desire to return kindness for kindness,
- break down walls,
- build bridges,
- give the person hope,
- give them the courage to try harder the next time.
Maybe you can come up with some more.
God doesn’t tell us to love others to make life difficult. He tells us that to make life beautiful!
Just think about what our world would be like if all 7 billion of its inhabitants loved each other! Mind blown yet?
We can’t make all those others obey God. But we can ask Him daily for a river of His love to flow through us and water the lives of those around us.
It’s amazing how green the grass of your life will become when you water it generously and daily with the love of God.
So, folks, let’s go cover some not-so-beautiful parts of our life today with some beautiful love, the kind that God will give us if we ask, the kind that He says is:
- seeking the interests of others,
- believing the best of people.
Let’s obey God today, and go make our families, our communities, our world a more beautiful place!
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