"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." ESV
This verse starts on a painful note, hatred stirs up strife. While not overly descriptive it shares a truth about the world. Strife is everywhere being stirred up by hatred. Hatred between countries, people groups, political factions, and relationships. Strife is basically defined as angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues. Sounds about right. Anger and bitterness are issues that I struggle with almost daily in my own life and I believe them to be common among most people. In a world full of hate and bitterness, Christians are called to live differently.
Jesus said something crazy 2,000 years ago that changed the world. “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 27-28 The truly crazy thing about this statement is that Jesus didn’t just state it. He lived, died, and was resurrected to validate what he said. Proverbs tells us that love covers all offenses and that is what we see here. Romans 5:8 puts it this way “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus’ sacrifice for us gives an astonishing example of how ultimately love covers all offenses.