Love Forgives

Scripture: Proverbs 10:12, ‘Hatred stirs of dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.’

 

Observations: Chapters 1-9 contain long discourses, but in Proverbs 10 start true proverbs, short pithy statements that express general truths using poetic language. This one is a classic example, contrasting hatred and love. Hatred makes things worse, it stirs up dissension, whereas love covers over, or forgives, wrongs. This proverb is about how our attitude affects how we deal with being wronged. Hatred drives a wedge between us and the one who wronged us, whereas love overlooks the wrong for the sake of the relationship. Hatred causes division, whereas love brings healing. The word ‘cover’ doesn’t mean ignoring the offense, but not treating the offender as they deserve. In Psalm 32:1 it is contrasted with forgiveness, ‘Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.’ Peter writes, ‘Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Pet 4:8)’

 

Application: How do you react when people wrong you? Often we get angry, which is a legitimate response, but do you allow your anger to become hatred, or do you process your anger in such a way that you respond with loving forgiveness? How do you do that? One of the ways is by reminding yourself how God responded when we wronged him – he sent his Son, Jesus to die on the cross to show his anger against our sin as well as his love and grace that made reconciliation possible between us and him. Jesus told a parable about the hypocrisy of a servant who had been extravagantly forgiven but was unable to forgive others (Mt 18:21-35). We love others because God loves us, and we forgive others because God forgave us.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that because of Your great love for me in Jesus You have covered all the wrongs that I have done. Lord, You did not hate me, instead You gave Your Son, Jesus to die in my place so that His blood would cover my sins. Lord, help me to love others like You loved me. Help me to forgive others when they wrong me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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