And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 KJV
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12
The concept of “cover” is actually found in contract law. I remember during Contracts in my second semester coming across this and I could not help but think of our relationship with Christ. I’m going to do my best to try to flesh out my thoughts on this.
Let’s take a Buyer and Seller who enter into a contract over a Thing. Buyer decides that S/he no longer wants Thing and breaches the contract, leaving Seller to try to figure out what to do. Legally, Seller can sue Buyer and try to recoup the contract price for Thing. And while there is no true requirement to do so, the court will still expect that Seller will try to cover for the loss caused by breaching Buyer by attempting to sell Thing to someone else, even if it is for a lesser price than Buyer was going to pay. Seller doesn’t just get to sit around and hold onto Thing, running up a bill against Buyer; he must try to cover the loss.
I thought of this in terms of our relationship with God. Christ’s death granted us a new “covenant” with God. But boy do we breach it! We sin, we fall short, we walk away from God, we lie, we cheat, we steal, we are mean to people and do all sorts of evil, or less-than-good, things. We breach. And yet, God knew we’d breach, so He gave His only begotten Son as the perfect “cover” for our sin.
See, usually, a Seller doesn’t manage to cover the entire amount of the breach. So breaching Buyer will have to make up the difference of what Seller couldn’t get from the original contract price. But for us, Christ’s blood is the complete, perfect cover for our sins. There is nothing left over for us to “pay the difference.” No debt. No balance. His love covers a multitude of our faults.
As ambassadors of the kingdom of Heaven, we also have to extend this cover to others. Peter tells us that we have to have the love that covers the multitude of sins – we have to share that kind of love with each other. We don’t get to say, “Well, Jesus covered your sins, but you still owe me.”
I admit, I am facing a difficult situation with applying this cover. A classmate of mine, who I considered a friend, has been involved in some really shady, inappropriate behavior. God first warned me of the situation in a dream, and then it was confirmed that very same day by others in my life who knew of the situation and had been on the receiving end of the behavior. I was dumbfounded. And incredibly disappointed. And angry. So angry. I couldn’t look at his face anymore. I hated the sound of his voice. I avoided him at every step. But always, God has sent people and messages to push me toward forgiveness and walking in love.
I don’t know exactly how it will play out. I can’t avoid him forever. And I want to show him the love of God. I feel like it is a fine line to walk to show love and yet not condone his behavior. But the truth is, he knows he’s wrong, without me telling him. We know when we have done wrong. But do we know we are still loved? I didn’t always know that. I have the post about always feeling deserving of punishment. I don’t want to heap that on him. I want to be able to walk in love and forgiveness toward him, so that he may experience the redeeming love of Jesus that covers a multitude of sins.
And so, I am seeking the Lord, that He will teach me how to love like that. I pray that the Lord will speak to your hearts as well, instructing you and guiding you on how to spread abroad the kind of love that covers a multitude of sins, even while it does not condone those sins. Lord, give us Your love that serves as the perfect cover for our breaching hearts!