Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins
Proverbs 10:12 NIV

by Liz Giertz
Guest Contributor

One look at my Facebook feed reveals more quarreling and controversy than I can handle.

Republicans and Democrats
Homeschoolers and Public Schoolers
Working Moms and Stay-at-Home Moms
Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers
Believers and Unbelievers
Millennials and, well … everybody else 

We are full of passion. But maybe we’ve misplaced the object of our fervor. Are we more interested in proving how right we are than in practicing righteousness? Do we want to prove how much we know instead of seeking wisdom? Would we rather defend our religion than nurture a relationship with God? Do we work to expose other’s evils more than we cultivate our own goodness? Too often we focus on hating evil more than loving good.

So how do we go from a life of strife to peace on earth?

Believe it or not, there was a time when the world was without discord. But then Adam and Eve sinned. From then on we’ve been plagued by dispute.

Between us and God
Us and our fellow man
And us and creation

That is the curse God proclaimed upon His beloved people after He called them out from where they attempted to hide their shame.

After delivering the bad news, God does something remarkable.

Also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made
tunics of skin, and clothed them
Genesis 3:21 NIV

God slaughtered an animal to create for them an acceptable covering for what they found shameful about themselves and each other. This is the first instance of the killing of an animal for human use, but it also foreshadows God’s entire plan for sacrificial salvation.

Because God loved them, He covered them

In much of the rest of the Pentateuch (The first 5 Books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy), God reveals what we now refer to as Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, or the simply The Law. It was a complicated system of sins and the sacrifices God required to cover them.

But all of those blood sacrifices were ultimately insufficient and only serve to point us toward the one final sacrifice. Because God loves us He sacrificed His perfect Son so that we could be saved for eternity with Him in heaven. You see, we don’t get into heaven without being covered in Christ’s righteousness.

When we were born, we inherited original sin and every time we fail to love the Lord with all our hearts, minds, and souls, or our neighbors as ourselves, we commit actual sin. Much like Adam and Eve’s rudimentary man-made garments were insufficient for covering their sin, we cannot atone for our own, either.

Now when we receive God’s gift of grace we also inherit Jesus’s robes of righteousness, a new covering for our shame.

You see, from Genesis to Revelation God’s Word demonstrates how His love literally covers our sin.

But more than that, God’s Spirit lives inside each of us, enabling us to love our fellow man the same way He loves us, enough to cover their sins. Not with eternal righteousness as He does, but with a temporal forgiveness that creates peace on earth. The kind of love that looks not just for the the good, but for the God in others. The kind of love that shows mercy, compassion, and charity not just for our friends, but also for our enemies.

Above all else, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins
1 Peter 4:8 NIV

If we thought more about how God’s love covers our own sins against Him, we might fight less with those who offend us.

One of my favorite lines from the most recent Star Wars movie came from a secondary character named Rose. She told Fin they wouldn’t win the war fighting against what they hated, but by fighting for what they loved.

Hating something is faulty motivation for a fight, but loving what’s right and true provides all we need to claim victory in Christ for all people.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins
Proverbs 10:12 NIV

God created us to crave community, but sin breaks that fellowship both with Him and each other. God loved us too much to allow our sin to keep us from Him eternally. His Word challenges us to  love others enough to forgive them and restore our earthly relationships, too. 

When we fail to love as God does, we create controversy, but when we let His love shine through us, we promote peace, we bring a little of our hoped-for heaven to earth.

Since we are covered in His love, let us also cover each other

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of Your grace through Jesus’s sacrifice that covers all our sins. Help us to gain a greater understanding of that gift so that we might love others in a way that would cover their sins and restore our earthly relationships. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Study Questions:

  1. Where in this world do you see the most quarreling? Over what issues is there excessive contention?
  2. Where in your own life is there quarreling or discord?
  3. How can you insert love into these intense conversations and heated debates?

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Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys and one mischievous shelter pup who recently relocated to Hurricane, West Virginia. Through her words and craft workshops, she encourages women to overcome MESSES, embrace their MEMORIES, and become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be. You can connect with her at My Messy Desk, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also shop for unique hand crafted masterpieces on Etsy.

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Written by Liz Giertz

3 Comments

Mitzi Neely

Liz,
Thank you for reminding us about all the ways we can love one another and work in true peace and harmony with others. As a society many have forgotten what it means to be kind and to love others as Christ loves us.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful, thought-provoking message.

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Liz

Thanks for your encouraging words, Mitzi! Sometimes I forget, too! Wrote this as a reminder to myself! Blessings!

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