Love may be the most misunderstood and misused word in the English language. We sing love songs and write love stories. Some songs, however, are not love songs. They are lust songs. They are not love stories. They are lust stories. We use the word interchangeably. I love Pam, I love America, I love my still-forming granddaughter, I love pizza, and I love coffee. We use the word so many different ways.
If we are going to have successful relationships, we need to figure out what this word “love” really means. 1 Corinthians 13:7 gives us one definition.“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”
“Love always protects.” The word in Greek is a word which means, “to cover with a roof.” A house without a roof isn’t much shelter in a storm. How many of you would buy a house without a roof? Likewise the Bible says love is like a roof. It covers. Self-esteem is very fragile and people’s feelings are easily injured. But love covers.
What can I do to protect other people’s worth? I can minimize their hurt. You can minimize their mistakes. Refuse to emphasize when they mess up. Overlook their faults. 1 Peter 4:8 says “Love covers a multitude of sins.” We are to overlook the faults of the other person. That’s what love does.
I can protect people by refusing to gossip. By not talking about them behind their back. Rick Warren said, “A friend is somebody who doesn’t rub it in, they rub it out.” They don’t broadcast your faults. Proverbs 17:9 “He who covers an offense offers love but he who repeats a matter separates even the closest of friends.” So you love people by protecting their dignity, their self worth, and by “rubbing out” their offenses.
We love to get the dirt on other people. We love to hear about it and love to pass it on.
When I was younger, the young people would sing a camp song called “Pass It On.” That could be a theme song in some situations today! We love to “Pass It On” when we find something negative about the other person.
Did you know what one of the highest selling magazines in America is? It’s not Time, it’s not Newsweek. It’s not even Sports Illustrated. It’s the National Inquirer. Why? People love to get the dirt on other people. But love hates scandals. And love overlooks a fault and love doesn’t like to expose someone else’s mess. Love always protects.
“Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
FOR REFLECTION: How can I show love this week by protecting the person I love?