Above all things have fervent love for one another,
for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 4:8
The disciple Peter knew something about fear. When Jesus was arrested, Peter displayed courage by following the Lord into the courtyard of the high priest. But then he began to show his fear by lying to protect his identity (John 18:15-26). He spoke disgraceful words that denied his Lord. But Jesus never stopped loving Peter and ultimately restored him (see John 21:15-19).
Peter’s emphasis on love, in 1 Peter 4:8, came from one who had experienced the deep love of Jesus. And he, in turn, stressed the importance of love in our relationships with the words “above all.” The intensity of the verse continues with the encouragement to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Have you ever needed that kind of “blanket”? I have! After saying or doing something I later regretted, I have felt the chilly draft of guilt and shame. I have needed to be “covered” in the manner that Jesus covered disgraced, shame-filled people in the Gospels.
To followers of Jesus, love is a blanket to be graciously and courageously given away for the comfort and reclamation of others. As recipients of such great love, let us be givers of the same.
Father, Your love, in and through Jesus, has rescued me time and time again. Help me to be an instrument of Your saving love for others. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.