Proverbs 10:12

An Exposition of the Book of Proverbs
Charles Bridges

"Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all sins."

A simple but forcible contrast! Hatred, however varnished by smooth pretense, is the selfish principle of man. Like a subterraneous fire, it continually stirs up mischief and creates or keeps alive rankling coldness, disgusts, dislikes, envies, and evil surmisings. Hatred carps at the infirmities of others, aggravates the least slip, or resents the most trifling or even imaginary provocation. These strifes are kindled to the great dishonor of God and the marring of the beauty and consistency of the gospel.

Is there not here abundant matter for prayer, watchfulness, and resistance? Let us study 1 Corinthians 13 in all its detail. Let it be a mirror for our hearts and the standard of our profession. Lover covers, overlooks, speedily forgives and forgets. Full of candor and inventiveness, it puts the best construction on doubtful matters, searches out any palliation [extenuating circumstances], does not rigidly eye or wantonly expose a brother's faults, nor uncover them at all except so far as may be needful for his ultimate good. To refrain from gross slander, while abundant scope is left for needless and unkind detraction, is not covering sin. Nor is the "seven-times forgiveness" the true standard of love, which, like its Divine Author, covers all sins. And who does not need the full extent of this covering? What is our brother's "all" against us compared with our "all" against God? And how can we hesitate to blot out a few pence who look for the covering of the debt of ten thousand talents? Oh, let us put on the Lord Jesus in his spirit of forbearing, disinterested, sacrificing love! "Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

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