Fear exposes but love covers

Proverbs 17--9

In the Verse of the Day for February 20, 2016 we find yet another reference to love in Proverbs 17:9 in the Amplified Bible:

He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.

Proverbs 10:12 (AMP) goes on to contrast the actions of hatred and love:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].

The covering of sin of others in the context of love is indeed an admirable action mentioned in Proverbs; however, the expression “to cover one’s own sins” is not a positive action, as Proverbs 18:23 reveals. Here the Hebrew verb kasha, means to conceal or to “cover up.”

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJ) points this out:

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

The Verse of the Day from Proverbs 17:19 along with Proverbs 10:12 reveal the connection between the covering of sins and love. This connection is further reinforced

1 Peter 4:8 (AMP)

Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].

The Book of James concludes with this reference to the covering of sins

James 5:19-20

19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and [another] one turns him back [to God], 20 let the [latter] one know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins [that is, obtain the pardon of the many sins committed by the one who has been restored].

In a discussion Love Never Publicly Exposes the Faults of Others Pastor Mitch Horton mentions 1 Corinthians 13:7 which states that “love bears all things.” He elaborates with these comments:

The word bear is the Greek word stege which simply means a roof or a covering. In this verse it means to cover by silence the offences of others! In fact the Berkeley translation of the New Testament of this phrase reads, Love covers all things in silence. . . . A believer who walks in love will not gossip about others’ problems!

Pastor Horton concludes his comments with a reference to Mrs. C. Nuzum, author of the book The Life of Faith [1] [who] has this to say about love covering with silence:

Love covers sins, even when there is a multitude of them. Love not only hides the evil in others, but refuses even to speak of it. Then, if we tell of the evil someone has done, criticize, judge, condemn, or murmur against anyone, no matter who he is or what he has done, we are proving that we have not love, because love covers in silence.

It has been said that fear exposes or uncovers sin, but love covers a multitude of sins. Of course, the Word of God once again reminds us of this eternal truth regarding fear and love:

1 John 4:18 (AMP):

18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

To close this discussion here is a musical composition that repeats this message: “There is no fear in love.”

[1] Mrs. C. Nuzum, The Life of Faith (Springfield, MO:  Gospel Publishing House, 1928, 1956), p. 84.

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