let love cover (part 2 of 4)
What if loving others more without grumbling would in fact help to keep their sins covered... covered in grace and redemption? And what if that very same love covered us as well? A covering of blankets keeps us warm. Tent covers keep us shielded. Some covers keep us hidden. What if Jesus is saying that the more we love, the more our sin is hidden from His view? Love, the miracle cure! Sweet Jesus.
There is a beautiful example of the vast coverage of love in the book of Acts, regarding the disciple, Stephen. Stephen was said to be a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. In the early days of the Christian church, Stephen was added as a disciple and he spread the message of Jesus. Eventually he was seized by those who were against his message. In Acts 7, verses 59 & 60, I notice something powerful and inspiring. Look with me at what happened while Stephen was being stoned to death. To death, people. “While they were stoning him Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Am I in such a posture with Jesus that I would be able to show love, forgive, and ask God to cover the sins of others in the midst of my stoning? Are you? Maybe we begin now by offering our enemies and our desires to retaliate against them to Jesus, and ask Him not to hold their sins against them. Oh, what love would cover!
We live in a society that seems to strive to uncover every sin so that it might visibly rise to the surface. We have learned to search for it, point fingers at it, talk about it in private and scream about it in public. We employ magnifying glasses, phone records, fingerprints, paper trails and then the never-ending tactic of he said/she said. Every sin gets dug up and dissected for the whole world to see and in the process toxins leak out, spilling into the depths and crevices of souls and hearts and minds until finally we are all toxic. But Jesus inspired a verse about love covering sin. Today He might look into your eyes and say something like “If you will practice love above all else, I’ll hardly be able to see your bad side because I will be so blinded by the miracles you perform with your heart.”
I had been disheveled, unfocused and barely attentive. In my inward chaos I rear-ended Jesus and then He healed me with His miraculous love. Today I am able to say that I love so much more often than I sin. I think it’s fair to believe that He is recording the love left behind from my fingerprints and yours while wiping away the incriminating evidence of our sins. Oh yes, Lord!
I decided to explore this theory with one of my children. My middle son sometimes chooses to live by his own set of rules and man he can be a hot mess. I’m just like any other mom who wants their children to behave well and offer only good things to our society. Often I’m quick to excavate to the root and expose the weed and then yank it out as fast as possible, which is a challenging when he is being stubborn. When he was 7 years old, my beautiful boy ignored a rule and did his own thing. I had to very consciously do this but I made the decision not to expose it but to cover it instead. He knew he had stepped way outside of the boundaries and he anticipated the typical ramifications but I rear-ended him with a huge heaping helping of love instead. I grabbed him to place him on my lap facing me and I kissed his entire face no less than 20 times. What followed surprised even me. I burst into laughter and soon so did he. Then I made hefty deposits into his heart by telling him all of the things I adore about him and all the ways that he is unique and wonderful. I did acknowledge that he had not followed instructions but told him I knew that he would begin making better decisions because he would see the value in obedience. He was so uplifted and overjoyed, not because he had escaped a negative consequence but because he was basking in the love that I was pouring on him. I’m not saying that this one calculated exercise cured us both of each and every sin we have ever thought about committing but I know it covered us both that day. Love ~ it heals. Love ~ it changes us as recipients and as givers. Love ~ it covers a multitude of sins. Love, when expressed in the name of our sweet Savior ~ is a grace filled miracle.
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