The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4.7-11
Love covers a multitude of sins is another of those phrases that is easily misunderstood or misused in Christian circles. Again, like so much of our Scriptures, it comes from a particular context with a particular motivation, and again this is a word spoken from, within, and to community, the community of what would come to be known as the Church.
This phrase is not encouraging us to ignore the brokenness within ourselves, between one another, and between us and creation and 'cover it up' or ignore it. It speaks to being a community of love and graciousness, where our loving relationship with one another takes priority over our desire to judge and exact vengeance. It talks of compassion being the foundation of how we interact, rather than 'being right' or feeling we have to win an argument. It talks of forgiveness being more valuable and healthier than holding grudges.
But what it is not is a license to allow abusive, inhospitable, unloving behaviour to be 'swept under the rug', indeed though we are committed to forgiveness, transformation, rehabilitation we are also committed to caring for and loving one another in such a way that all are safe, that all are secure, that all know themselves loved.
See that ye be at peace among yourselves, and love one another.
Follow the example of good men and women of old and God will comfort you and help you,both in this world and in the world which is to come.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A Prayer in the Celtic Tradition, source unknown