For a long time 1 Peter 4:8 has bothered me and stumped me. Bothered me because it seems like a good excuse for someone to do something wrong because love will cover it and stumped me because it seemed like a good reason not to confront someone who's doing something wrong because love is supposed to cover it. Does that make sense? But today I realized that the first part of the verse needs to be my focus for now. I need to grasp the what before analyzing the why.
"Above all else, love one another deeply (what) because love covers over a multitude of sins (why)."
Above all else - above everything, before anything, during anything, after anything, ABOVE all else
Love one another deeply - deeply tells us how. It is the kind of deep that digs down beneath everything else, the kind of deep that is cellular level, that is tucked in the sinewy depths of our fibered muscle, the kind of deep that stretches us, sometimes hurts us, always calls for us to put the other person first, the kind of depth that changes us. We will not look the same after we learn to love like this. The kind of love that is Ephesians 4:2. Completely humble. Completely gentle. Completely patient. Bearing ALWAYS with one another with this kind of love.
I haven't even begun to learn how to love like this. I barely even scratch the surface.