What does love covers a multitude of sins mean? What a great question and we are glad you asked. Let’s take a look at what the Bible means in the book of Peter. The following verse is where this quote originated. Isn’t that interesting? You can peruse our questions category for many other great questions and answers! Let’s dive in and find the answer you are searching for.
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).”
In context, Peter is encouraging believers in Jesus Christ to serve one another. In the verses that follow, he says we do this through hospitality and with our spiritual gifts, which are given to us when we accept Jesus as our lord and savior. You can find out more about that here. This covering of others’ sins is another way of serving.
Peter is quoting from the Old Testament. Solomon, the writer of Proverbs, also gave this advice: “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions (Proverbs 10:12).”
But covering a multitude of sins is challenging. What do we do when a brother or sister sins, either against us or against their testimony?
What do we do when someone hurts us?
Because others hurt us, it is tempting–and human nature–to strike back. It’s tempting to make the offender look bad or even ruin their reputation.
Peter tells us to do the opposite, and Jesus agrees with Peter: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7).
James, the brother of Jesus, addresses the same issue: “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:20).”
How do you love your enemy?
Jesus also advised: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:43-45).”
The Bible repeatedly addresses this issue, maybe because it’s so difficult. Jesus asks us to be like God! How can we fulfill this command?
What if you are betrayed?
One problem is that insults and betrayal affects our feelings. And how can someone change how they feel? If only it were as easy as flipping a switch.
Fulfilling this command takes supernatural strength, the strength that only God can give. But for those who want to be spiritual, obedience to this command to love separates God’s child from the natural man. And God has given us the resources we need:
- Jesus is our provider, and He has full authority to supply our needs (Matthew 28:18). We’re encouraged to access His provision through prayer in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
- The Holy Spirit is our spiritual guide, and we can rely on His help (John 14:26).
We forgive because God has forgiven us
We cannot do this in our strength, but we do have a role to play. It’s only reasonable for any child of God to forgive others because God has forgiven us much more sin than anyone has sinned against us. Jesus told a parable to illustrate this: “‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you (Matthew 18:32-33)?’”
Love covers a multitude of sins
As fellow children of God, we should do all we can to protect each other’s reputations as well as forgive each other’s sins. That’s how we demonstrate love. And when we love like this, it covers a multitude of sins.
We invite you to connect with us if you have any questions. We are here to help. To better understand the forgiveness of God through Jesus, please watch the great news for you video on this page.