12. Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Prov. 10:12 NIV)
12. Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
The focus here is upon interpersonal relationships. Hatred is the opposite to love. Hatred divides and separates. This hatred is an attitude of the heart and it stirs up conflict. If you are always leaving strife and conflict in your wake, then there is a serious need to examine your heart. We need to ask ourselves how we feel and think about others? The conflict here is strife in interpersonal relationships.
In contrast the response of love covers over all wrongs done to us. The righteous person covers over and hides from view the personal offences committed against him. Rather than pulling these wrongs out into public and responding in kind, the righteous person throws a wet blanket over the flame of another’s sin against him. Rather than calling down judgement on the one who wrongs us, we are to personally absorb the wrong in the cushion of our love. The times in which we live today find people who are very angry. People assert their rights, people demand justice, ‘someone must pay’. People get offended at the slightest thing and they have to vent their anger. The idea of love covering over all wrong is foreign to the culture. Our problem is that, as we live in this culture, the mindset can become our mindset and we react to every perception of who might have offended us, or who didn’t do things the way we wanted them done, and we have to raise every issue so that everyone knows how we have been offended. We need to explore what it means for the blanket of love to be pulled over all these wrongs.
We have the same idea in the NT:
remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (Jas. 5:20 NIV)
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Pet. 4:8 NIV)
The description of love in 1 Cor 13 is useful to help us understand the impact of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV)
Lord help us not to act out of spite, hatred or envy. Help us to be patient with others and not always to react. Lord we confess that we frequently misunderstand what people say and what people do. Often, if we had been more patient and not reacted quickly, we would have learned that no harm to us was ever intended. Lord this lies at the heart of the commandments to love God and love our neighbour. Please help us to obey your commands because we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.