I Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Growing up (and even at times at my current age) I would worry about my sin. When will I sin one too many times? Then I would read verses like this one and think, “Okay, if I just love enough, I have my sin covered.” I am following such a legalistic path when I think in these terms. This is not what this verse is about…covering sin by loving more.
Looking at the context, it appears that Peter is encouraging a lifestyle, a mindset. A mindset of, “If I love well, God is praised and people are served.” It is putting others needs above my own. It is showing grace when the situation would normally warrant response. To do this, I must call on love. I must come from a place in my heart to love.
A key to this passage comes from verse 7 when Peter starts with, “The end of all things is near.” Many of us have been challenged at some time or another to think about if we had only so many days or hours to live, what would that look like? I think Peter is making this challenge here. The end is near and what really matters in the long run is to love well.
So, what about love covering over a multitude of sins? I think of it this way. If I love well, how much sin will I commit? God is love, so if I am acting out of love I will have the best interest of God, others, and myself at heart. Furthermore, if I have sinned against someone, loving them usually allows for grace on their part. If I act out of love, then I am acting as God…and there is no sin in God. When I do not love I act out of selfishness.
The challenge for me is to avoid my selfish nature and act out of love. When I do not feel love, I selfishly seek it in order to feel better about myself. This becomes a vicious cycle. Once I realize that to be loved by others, I must first love others, it seems to flow so much smoother. In the end, love must prevail.
1. Name some places in your life where you can love better.
2. Where are some places you currently love well?
3. What are some steps you can take to love better in those areas that need some love attention?
4. Ask God this week to reveal to you where you can love better and to show you where and how.
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