“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

This is not saying that love overlooks sin. Love sees sin, and then covers it. In this case, lots of them, “a multitude of sins.”

We know that this is true of the love of God, but is it true of us? The imperative is directed toward us: “Love each other deeply.” I think it must be true of us. 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that “love keeps no record of wrongs.” The opposite of covering sins may be keeping a record of them. “Love each other deeply.” “Deeply” has to do with the quality of the cover. Perhaps deep love provides deep cover, as in “Thou will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

This cover is not speaking of our own sins, but of others’ sins, for two reasons:

l) “He who covers his sins shall not prosper but he who confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

2) “Love each other deeply.” This love is the love that forgives others. Let us love each other deeply regardless of the quantity or quality of sins committed. Love covers. Love forgives.

Written in 1978.