This week’s offering from a different perspective is a guest post from a long-time friend, Pastor Jonathan Fitzpatrick. Jonathan currently serves as Senior Pastor of West Sunny Side Community Church in Griffin, Georgia. Jonathan and his wife Kristie are originally from Calhoun County, Alabama and are the proud parents of twin girls, Jordan and Joshlyn.
This timely and thought-provoking concept is worthy of our meditation as we consider the mutual grace needed to exist in interpersonal relationships. I know you’ll enjoy it.
Proverbs 10:12 tells us that, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.” This does not refer to a man’s own sins, however, but the sins of others. Of course, no sin is hidden from the sight of God, only the blood of Jesus can do that! But love does cover up sins from the sight of men; it covers up the sins against whom they are committed, as well as others.
After beginning 1 Corinthians 13 with what can be summed up as, “If we don’t have love, we don’t have anything,” Paul described some characteristics of love:
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).
The sixteenth century theologian John Gill wrote: “True love, thinks no ill, but puts the best constructions upon the words and actions of fellow Christians, and does not take them up, and improve and exaggerate them, but lets them lie buried in oblivion: it takes no notice of injuries, offences, and affronts, but overlooks them, bears with them, and forgives them, so that they are never raked up, and seen any more; which prevents much scandal, strife, and trouble” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, E-Sword).
Had John Gill been alive and writing the above in 2017, he could have also said, true love doesn’t air out someone’s setbacks, mistakes, and failures over the internet and social media! To the contrary, true love will be a cover-up! True love, as the New Living Translation puts it, “keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out” (1 Cor. 13:5b-6).
What brings joy to our heart? Good things, or bad things? If we hear something bad about someone who may be considered an enemy or whom we may not like, do we rejoice? Or does it make us sad to see them suffer? Do we allow love to be a cover-up?