How Does Love Cover a Multitude of Sins?
By Tiffany Thibault
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 1:48
It's easy to love the lovable, to love the ones who make your life easier, to love the ones who add value to your life. It’s downright near impossible to love the ones who bring you pain, especially when it’s intentionally done.
According to our verse here in 1 Peter, we who say that we are Christians, need to work at making it a priority to show love to others, even to those who cause pain, for we are not perfect. We are not without sin. We ourselves desperately need the love of a Savior.
The words telling us to love each other deeply, means that we are quick to forgive, that we work to overlook past hurts that others have done to us, and that we encourage others who are struggling. It does not mean that we stay in an unsafe situation, bringing even more pain. It might even mean protecting our hearts as we strive to forgive, working to move beyond the pain. It might even mean to walk away from people, even relatives, who cause you continual pain.
When my daughter was about three, we had a large yellow lab named Buddy. He absolutely adored my daughter! One day as she and I took Buddy for his afternoon walk, she wanted to hold his leash as he strolled beside us on the sidewalk. She had been walking him at her pace for some time, when all of a sudden a rabbit darted past him. Buddy took off in wild pursuit, dragging my poor daughter across the grass behind him. I yelled at her to let go of the leash as I lunged at him to catch him. My daughter sat up, then looked down at her scraped up knees and began to sob hysterically at the smarting pain.
I carried her home, holding firmly to the dog’s leash. Once home, after her little knees had been cleaned and covered with princess bandages, she called Buddy over to her. She gave him a big hug and said, “Buddy, I love you and I forgive you.” When her dad came home from work a few days later, her scrapes were completely healed. She told her daddy what had happened and said, “Buddy didn’t mean to hurt me, but I forgave him anyway.”
I have often thought about her pure truth and simplicity in this situation. She had been hurt, but it didn’t stop her from quickly forgiving. She didn’t hold it against Buddy and withhold her love. He didn’t understand what forgiveness meant, but she did need to let him know that he was forgiven. It was necessary for her healing.
As I look at circumstances I am walking through, I find myself examining how quick I am to forgive someone for the cruel things that they say or do. When I fail to forgive quickly, I do find that it becomes easy to nurse my hurt, to fuel the pain. My resistance to loving that person by holding onto my hurt, in actuality really only hurts me. They have probably moved on from what they said or did, if they even remember it at all! I am not showing love to myself or to them if I cannot love them. I cannot love them as Christ desires if I am harboring unforgiveness or anger toward them. I alone hold the power to forgive them, and thus show the love of Christ. This doesn’t mean that I need to ever see that person again, it just means that I am relinquishing any power they might have over my heart.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” The longer we allow the pain, the anger to linger, the better chance it has of taking root, and preventing love to flourish. If we can practice quickly forgiving, we can prevent bitterness from taking root.
As you read these words today, whose name comes to mind? I want to challenge you today to find a way to forgive that person who has said or done things to hurt you. It isn’t easy on our own, but we do have the Lord on our side, and with Him all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26)
I must state here, that what I am writing about is purposefully forgiving comments and situations as they unintentionally arise. If you are dealing with painful past hurts or relationship issues that are overwhelming you or endangering you, please seek professional help or counseling to walk beside you as you find the strength to be able to forgive those people, to find healing, and to be freed from the burden of the pain they caused.
Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two daughters and one very large dog in Las Vegas. She not only homeschools her girls, but she also loves to write about Jesus and speak about Him to groups of women. She loves long walks, coffee and anything chocolate.
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