A couple of years back, my 7yo brother William found our 5yo brother Patrick Henry hiding behind the house. The cuffs of his pants were gone and a slow flame was smoldering up the legs of his brand-new train-conductor style overalls.
Patrick Henry was scared of the creeping flame, but he was even more afraid of the consequences of playing near fire in the first place. He was determined to hide out and burn quietly.
When he was found, Patrick Henry immediately started pleading: “Don’t tell Mom!” If he were a few years older and more articulate, his plea might have included something about love covering a multitude of sins.
William was insistent. “Patrick Henry! We have to tell Mom.”
William wasn’t moved by his brother’s plea for privacy in his sin. He ran straight for Mom. This is brotherly love.
My brother was miraculously unharmed, in spite of the fact that the bottoms of his shoes were melted and the lower 6″ of his pants was almost entirely gone.
Yes, love covers a multitude of sins, but not by helping our brother to continue to hide in his sin. James exhorts us to turn our sinning brother from the error of his way. This is how we cover a multitude of sins.
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him
back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will
save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20