Love Never Fails
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” —Proverbs 10:12
You have to love the little three-letter conjunction “but.” Here—as in so many proverbs—it serves up harsh contrast. This time it’s between hatred and love.
Hatred stirs. Love covers.
Hatred fuels conflict. Love brings peace.
Hatred is presented as peeling off the scab, making wounds bleed again. Love heals.
Love begins its covering work by first hiding an offense. No need to make a spectacle, to lend offense, to expose or scandalize. Love keeps quiet.
Love continues its work in forgiving and forgetting. Specifically:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Very practically, hatred holds on whereas love lets go. Hatred so easily stirs up conflict because it keeps hurt close to the surface.
With love, hurt is being buried, deeper and deeper with time. There is a conscious effort to let go of offenses.
Love takes the larger view of life, letting go of what is temporal and transient. Specks, flaws, faults, and sins are pardoned, in the way that God’s love pardons our sins in Christ—any record and recollection of those things are cast as deep as the ocean, and as far as east is from west.
Love isn’t easy. Loving can be painful. It was love that led Jesus to the cross, His blood covering our sins. But its perfect work done, love is life-giving. Love lifts and gladdens hearts.
Love soothes and warms. Love draws and invites. Choose love today.
My prayer for this week:
Loving God and Father, thank you for loving me. Thank you for revealing your love in Jesus Christ. I see the logic of this wise proverb—I realize hatred holds on to wounds and love lets them go. I want to love. I want to let go. But it isn’t easy. Please give me the grace to love, to cover wrongs, and to forgive others as you’ve forgiven me.