Because the culmination of all things is near, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer; above all maintaining a fervent love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7–8 (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9; James 5:20)
The poets (Chaucer and Shakespeare) say, “Love is blind.” And it is, sort of. When we love, we choose to be blind. It’s not that we don’t see the faults someone has. When we view others as valuable, the love we feel toward them enables us to devalue the faults we perceive. In fact, love seems to shut down certain brain functions associated with critical assessment and increase activity in the brain’s reward centers. Unfortunately, this blindness can be dangerous in some situations. But for the most part, God has been advocating the blindness of love for a long time. When he tells us not to hold a grudge against those close to us but to love them, as we do ourselves, we understand that 1) these people do things that are more than just annoying, and 2) we turn a blind eye to our own sins. We frown on coverups when someone is trying to elude justice. But when we humbly, meekly and long-sufferingly endure with love those who sin against us, we maintain peace and unity, especially in our families and our Christian fellowship. This kind of loving coverup enables us to pray for our enemies, to forgive, and to refrain from gossiping about someone else’s faults. By seeing but not seeing, we can even engage in trying to turn a sinner back from wandering away from the truth, thereby saving that person’s soul from death.
Loving Lord, give me the eyes of love that see clearly what truly matters.