Read: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Prov. 10:12)
The Roman proverb used in the title of this devotional is translated “Love conquers all.” It’s an ancient statement of contemporary bumper sticker theology: “Love Wins.” But I wonder: Whose love? Conquers what? Wins how? Every wedding includes mutual promises to love, but that doesn’t stop divorces from happening. You can love a child with all your heart, but that won’t conquer his addiction or her agnosticism. How often does it happen in our experience that love, far from being all-conquering, is powerless to stop the destructive or hurtful behavior of our loved ones. All too often, love fails.
Better to say, with Proverbs and Peter, that love covers all. Note: it says cover, not cover up. Love isn’t blind (contrary to another popular saying). Love sees the offenses and acknowledges their wrong. But it can also cover them—with forgiveness. When someone wrongs us, rather than allowing anger to fester into hatred, we can choose a better way: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you” (Col. 3:12-13).
As Christians we have the power to forgive one another because God’s forgiveness covers us; and God has the power to forgive our sins because he has covered them with the blood of Jesus. —David Bast
As you pray, ask God to give you the strength today to put up with the little offenses you experience and forgive the big ones.
About the Author
Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.