Daily Devotional

Love Covers All

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Scripture:  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)

Observation:  charity shall cover the multitude, &c.—The oldest manuscripts have “covereth.” Quoted from Pr 10:12; compare Pr 17:9. “Covereth” so as not harshly to condemn or expose faults; but forbearingly to bear the other’s burdens, forgiving and forgetting past offenses. Perhaps the additional idea is included, By prayer for them, love tries to have them covered by God; and so being the instrument of converting the sinner from his error, “covereth a (not ‘the,’ as English Version) multitude of sins”; but the former idea from Proverbs is the prominent one. It is not, as Rome teaches, “covereth” his own sins; for then the Greek middle voice would be used; and Pr 10:12; 17:9 support the Protestant view. “As God with His love covers my sins if I believe, so must I also cover the sins of my neighbor” [LUTHER]. Compare the conduct of Shem and Japheth to Noah (Ge 9:23), in contrast to Ham’s exposure of his father’s shame. We ought to cover others’ sins only where love itself does not require the contrary. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1 Pe 4:8). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application:  Shaunti Feldhahn, in her book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” writes about the power of a positive, loving attitude toward their relationship and toward their spouse: “Highly happy spouses choose to believe their mate cares for them—no matter what they’re seeing from their spouse or feeling at the time—and they act accordingly.”  She adds: “It turns out that positive changes in a marriage rarely depend on one difficult spouse suddenly becoming an altogether different person. Usually, the opposite is true. Change—even in challenging marriages—most often starts with one immediate, practical, and surprising choice. A choice made by just one partner. And you can make it. The day you put one surprising secret to work in your relationship—and then another—may go unnoticed by your partner. But you have launched an insurrection against mediocrity and unhappiness.”
What Mrs. Feldhahn’s research shows (which is supported by other extensive support, particularly in the area of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology), is that when we choose to love our spouse, and we show it through word and action, our thinking toward them changes, and eventually our feelings will change as well.  A very interesting TED lecture presented by Amy Cuddy, form Harvard University (http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are) also confirms that it is in our power to change our behavior and the resulting thinking and feeling.
God is not asking us to “feel” loving, but rather to “act” lovingly.  Sometimes in marriage we wait until our spouse changes and becomes more loving so before we respond to them in a loving manner, but what God says is that we are the ones that should take that first step, and when we act lovingly that love can cover all things, even those that have harmed our relationship in the past.

Scripture:  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)
 
Observation:  charity shall cover the multitude, &c.—The oldest manuscripts have “covereth.” Quoted from Pr 10:12; compare Pr 17:9. “Covereth” so as not harshly to condemn or expose faults; but forbearingly to bear the other’s burdens, forgiving and forgetting past offenses. Perhaps the additional idea is included, By prayer for them, love tries to have them covered by God; and so being the instrument of converting the sinner from his error, “covereth a (not ‘the,’ as English Version) multitude of sins”; but the former idea from Proverbs is the prominent one. It is not, as Rome teaches, “covereth” his own sins; for then the Greek middle voice would be used; and Pr 10:12; 17:9 support the Protestant view. “As God with His love covers my sins if I believe, so must I also cover the sins of my neighbor” [Luther]. Compare the conduct of Shem and Japheth to Noah (Ge 9:23), in contrast to Ham’s exposure of his father’s shame. We ought to cover others’ sins only where love itself does not require the contrary. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1 Pe 4:8). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]
 
Application:  Shaunti Feldhahn, in her book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages” writes about the power of a positive, loving attitude toward their relationship and toward their spouse: “Highly happy spouses choose to believe their mate cares for them—no matter what they’re seeing from their spouse or feeling at the time—and they act accordingly.”  She adds: “It turns out that positive changes in a marriage rarely depend on one difficult spouse suddenly becoming an altogether different person. Usually, the opposite is true. Change—even in challenging marriages—most often starts with one immediate, practical, and surprising choice. A choice made by just one partner. And you can make it. The day you put one surprising secret to work in your relationship—and then another—may go unnoticed by your partner. But you have launched an insurrection against mediocrity and unhappiness.”
                What Mrs. Feldhahn’s research shows (which is supported by other extensive support, particularly in the area of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology), is that when we choose to love our spouse, and we show it through word and action, our thinking toward them changes, and eventually our feelings will change as well.  A very interesting TED lecture presented by Amy Cuddy, form Harvard University also confirms that it is in our power to change our behavior and the resulting thinking and feeling.
                God is not asking us to “feel” loving, but rather to “act” lovingly.  Sometimes in marriage we wait until our spouse changes and becomes more loving so before we respond to them in a loving manner, but what God says is that we are the ones that should take that first step, and when we act lovingly that love can cover all things, even those that have harmed our relationship in the past.
 
A Prayer You May Say:  Father God, help us to act lovingly even when we don’t “feel” it.  May your love permeate our lives and our relationships so that it will cover us and our past so that we may have a better future.
 Father God, help us to act lovingly even when we don’t “feel” it.  May your love permeate our lives and our relationships so that it will cover us and our past so that we may have a better future.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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