“Above all, love one another deeply/fervently (ἐκτενῆ), because love covers over/conceals (καλύπτει) a multitude of sins.“ (1 Pet 4: 8)
My “fervent“ love for another “covers over“ not only his/her “sins,“ but also mine. I often find that I am “rewarded“ with love, not “because“ of who or how I am, warts and all, but just because I also love, in return. Because oftentimes everything “else“ about us, like our backgrounds, characters, political views/affiliations, or habits (like speaking out about those political views/affiliations at the dinner-table with the in-laws; or snoring; or leaving the dishes unwashed overnight, or the dirty socks on the floor, or the bed unmade), is something that can’t seem to be “fixed,“ at the moment, either in me or in the one(s) I love. But we love one another anyway, “covering over“ those unpleasant things.
What kind of “love“ are we talking about here? The unconditional kind, the Source of which is God. In Christ, Who “died for us, while we were still sinners“ (Rom 5: 8), we receive the capacity to love both ourselves and one another, “while we are still sinners.“ We can allow ourselves both to love, and to be loved, amidst our imperfections, because that’s how our God-created world works, in the whole business of love, which originates in Him, the unconditional Lover of Mankind. We love, because we are loved, and we are loved, simply because we love. “In the end,“ as the Beatles remind us, “the love you take is equal to the love you make.“