Love covers

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8

Love covers.  What a great truth.  Love is willing to overlook an offense, to absorb being wronged, to pay the cost for someone else's sin.  Wow. 

I want to be loved like that, don't you?  For my family and my friends to forgive me when I mess up, to give me the benefit of the doubt, to understand me and accept me.

I know what the opposite feels like, don't you?  I've had friendships dissolve because I wasn't enough something for the other person.  I've felt walls go up because conflicts weren't resolved.  I've been shut out because of a perceived wrong.  Whatever the reality may be, the bottom line was that there wasn't enough love to cover.

I'll bet you have similar stories of hurt.  I understand.  I hurt with you and for you.

We have a choice about what to do when love falls short of what we need.

We can act in retaliation, hoping that the best defense is a good offense.  Unfortunately, what works in basketball doesn't apply in relationships.

We can react out of self-protection.  But we need to know that keeping our hearts in a cage does more to keep love out than to protect us from harm.

We can reciprocate with pretense and denial, insisting that we don't care what happens, we are fine no matter what others do.  But the only one who's fooled is ourselves.  The wound still bleeds, whether we ignore it or not.

We can wallow in our pain, hoping someone will rescue us.  Good luck with that one!

Or, we can respond in a way that is counter-intuitive.  Actually seems to invite more opportunity for offense, for wrong, for pain.  We can let our love cover the other person's offenses.

I know I want to be loved like that.

I know I want to love others like that.

Like Jesus does.