LOVE COVERS ALL WITHOUT A COVER-UP
The apostle Peter emphasized the importance of staying together as a Christian community in the face of increasing persecution. The “most important” feature of such a unified community is love. For love doesn’t look for offense or imperfection. Indeed, it overlooks such things, keeping “no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5).
In Genesis 9, Noah’s son, Ham, saw his father’s drunken nakedness and told his brothers about it. However, Shem and Japheth backed into Noah’s tent, covering him with a robe, not wishing to see their father in such a state. Which of the sons acted in love? Wasn’t it the ones who covered their father’s sin?
Peter’s instruction is a reference to the Proverb, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Prov. 10:12). This is not an encouragement to cover-up, compounding one’s sin by lying about it or failing to confront it privately. No, it is a covering of love that patiently seeks to maintain relationship through thick and thin. It looks for the best in others, rather than fault-finding. Love helps the sinner make things right.
It was God’s great love that moved Him to send Christ to be the covering for our sins. For Christ is our covering. His blood has covered our sins. And we are hidden in Him, having “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27), we are now all one in Him. And since our sins are covered, there is no need to cover-up. We can be ourselves in Christ, knowing that we are deeply loved.