Mud Covers a Multitude of Sins


We knew when we started this home renovation that one of the biggest tasks would be the ceilings. Before we got our new metal roof a few years back, we had an old, leaky roof that caused water damage to the ceilings throughout the house. The leaks were now gone, but the evidence of their previous presence remained.  

Additionally, our ceilings were done in a pattern. Think popcorn ceiling with more pizazz. The problem is this type of decor is seriously outdated. Buyers now want beautiful, smooth ceilings, which is why Jason has been slaving for several days to fill, sand, and paint the ceilings. They’re looking great, but it has taken a lot of work, especially in the water-damaged areas.  

Yes, these spots took some extra mud (which is like putty yet somehow different) and a lot of extra time and patience. Fortunately, my husband’s efforts have paid off, and onlookers can no longer tell that the ceilings were once damaged by water. They look like new. As Jason and I surveyed his latest work, he cleverly commented, “Yes, mud covers a multitude of sins.” Witty, isn’t he? His statement got me thinking, and my mind wandered to the source of his comment.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
— I Peter 4:8
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
— Proverbs 10:12

In the Hebrew language, the word “cover” carries with it the meaning of forgiveness. Just as the mud covered the faults and stains on the ceiling, so does our love cover the injustices or offenses done to us. We choose to let them be hidden. It doesn’t mean the deeds or words were right or that they didn’t hurt us, but instead of allowing ourselves to get angry or bitter, we choose instead to forgive. We place a covering over it and hide it. From ourselves. From the offender. And from any other onlookers. That’s just what love does.

I’ll admit, I struggle with this. When someone does me wrong, my natural tendency is not to cover it up but rather to blow it out of proportion. I make a big deal out of it and make sure others know how I’ve been hurt or offended. Sadly, forgiveness rarely enters the scene until the Lord has thoroughly convicted me about my poor reactions and prompted me to make things right. In the meantime, I’ve made a mess of things, and sometimes the mess cannot be cleaned up.

How much better off would it have been for me to forgive? By failing to do so, I only proved how incomplete my love truly is. And you do the same when you fail to allow love to cover up the faults of others. We’re not talking about a license to sin or to mistreat others. Let’s face it, we’re all human; therefore, we all make mistakes. Let’s recognize that the next time a fellow human messes up and give him or her the benefit of the doubt. In other words, let’s not sweat the small stuff. Instead, let’s cover it up and hide it away, never to be seen again. It’s better that way. . . just like our ceilings.