Our dog Romeo frequently brings us "gifts" of dead possums. It is not uncommon to find them on the sidewalk or in the back yard. They are especially offensive when the weather warms up, and they start to smell. So, we take them out to the woods behind our house and bury them.
In this verse, the word "cover" (in the original language) conveys the idea of burying or hiding something offensive by putting something else over it. How many times have we been offended by someone's actions and words, and we rehearse that hurt over and over again in our thoughts? We are tempted to tell others of how badly we have been treated as well.
Instead, Peter was challenging us – "charity" (love) makes a covering for that offense. With God's help, we can turn our thoughts away from those offenses and even, if possible, "hide" them from others. Perhaps, like our dog's dead possums, others might not realize how their words and actions have affected us. They might not have meant to bring hurt or offense. Whether intentional or not, "charity" puts a covering over that hurt, so that it cannot be seen by us or by anyone else.
The next time hurts and offenses come, let us remember this verse, and with God’s help, place a "covering" over that hurt.
Whereas a bitter enemy will rake up every old grudge again and again, one who loves will not allow himself to see the wrongs done to him. — Ellicott
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