“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 10:12
This proverb seems an understatement. Love and hate are opposites, and their effects are opposites as well. Christians are, of course, called to love everyone, even our enemies. It is a tremendous blessing to be set free from hatred by the understanding that Christ died to make us free from all evil. Consider Cain in Genesis 4. When “Cain was very angry and his face was downcast” (Gen 4:5), because God looked more favorably on Abel’s sacrifice, God said, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it (Gen 4:6-7). Cain then murdered his brother.
To “do what is right” we must love. When we love we cannot hate, and we will keep God’s law. Jesus said the entirety of the law is summed up in the command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37), and “to love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39). John the Apostle said, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother” (1 Jn 3:11-12). If any of us finds a scrap of hatred in our hearts we should go to the throne of God and ask him for his love in our hearts. We cannot bear hatred and get away with it. It will always lead to action for ill. But in the same way, love, which is more powerful than hate, will also lead to action, and “cover all wrongs.”
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 10:12
Truly, the absence of love must be regarded as hate. Love is the state we are to walk in always as Christians, and it is a great blessing to do so. To fail is to walk in hatred because only hatred can cause us to hold back love. There is no neutral ground.
#2 “…stirs up conflict,”
We cannot think that we can hold an inward attitude and not see it bloom into action. This is one of Jesus’ great points in the sermon on the mount. Concerning anger (and hatred), the promise is murder.
#3 “but love covers all wrongs.”
How powerful is this biblical truth! Hatred is the world’s way. Love is the way of Christ, and of the kingdom of God. Genuine love like that of the Father will destroy hatred and evil. It was the love of Christ that compelled him to suffer and die for us, to rid us of our own hate, and to forgive us of our sins.
Expert Overview of Proverbs
Biblical Translations of Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.