Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Love covers a multitude of sins.
Sins – Period.
How many – The verse says – A multitude..many…lots…more than can be counted. This kind of love covers more sins than you or I can count.
What kind of sins…well I suppose…all…every single one of them. The ones we consider big and the ones we consider not so big…are all in need of being covered…by love…saved by love…forgiven by love. The outward ones we can see and point at and the inward ones that we hide but still create just as much of a divide between us and God…those too.
They all need to be covered by this love.
But this isn’t just your ordinary kind of love. Not the kind of love that we lump together in a multitude of categories like “I love my husband and I love Snickers bars and I love shopping.” This kind of love is far beyond a natural human love. It must be foreign, this kind of love…it is not just unconditional, it’s sacrificial, it gives up something. It gives up someone for the sake of someone else. It’s the kind of love that can pardon sin. That word ‘cover’ actually means to ‘pardon’. To pardon someone actually means – to cancel the debt. But in order to do that someone has to pay…someone has to forgive.
To be honest with you when I really break down this verse in this way and I think of those who have wronged me or those who have wronged those that I love…uhhh..the last thing I feel like doing is ‘pardoning’ them. The last thing I feel like doing is canceling their grievance against me or that person I love. The last thing I feel like doing is forgiving them. Usually the first thing I feel like doing and the last thing I naturally feel like doing looks a little more like giving them a high five in the forehead with a chair (just being honest).
But that isn’t what we are called to do. Man, I hate it when the way I feel doesn’t line up with scripture then I have to totally check my heart and realize…
I’m the one who needs that pardon.
I’m the one who needs the forgiving.
I’m the one who needs my debt cancelled…too.
I see this when over and over I’m faced with those things in life where my heart wants to line up naturally and innately with God’s heart and it isn’t quite so natural.
In the place of forgiveness we are not releasing the person from consequence or even judgement, we are just taking ourselves off of the jury and putting God in His rightful place. We are reminded that we too sit as ones being defended by a love willing to pardon OUR grievances…our bitterness…our sins. And the thought of that…that someone would stand up in our place, cover our stains, pardon our sin and forgive is humbling…humbling enough to cause one sinner to forgive another.
I don’t know who reads this blog but my guess is that anyone who does likely has someone they need to forgive. There is someone that you need to release yourself from.
Jesus died for ALL. ALL. You. Me. That person who hurt you..that person who hurt someone you love…that person…who needs forgiveness just like you and me.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. Romans 3:23-25
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8