1 Peter 4:8  is a lovely scripture. Not knowing exactly what you have in mind the scriptures give us the principles. Then we need to learn to apply them in each situation.

1 Peter 4:8 reads, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”  Love is the proper thought in the original language. Christians should be merciful and forgiving, all a part of love. We need to cultivate the disposition to think charitably of the works and actions of others, and assume that intentions are good. This would make our days and the days of those around us much sweeter. Even in the Old Testament the same thought is conveyed. Proverbs 17:9 “He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates very friends”

Many everyday little things should be overlooked, when we can and be good tempered about it. But what about serious matters? Does the Lord give us any guidance about definite illegal or immoral actions?  Are we to cover those and bear an unnecessary burden?

The scripture says a “love covers a multitude of sins.” It does not say ALL sins. We are not to be so merciful or so forgiving or so kind that we are a doormat letting others get away with wrong or to indulgence them in being irresponsible to God’s law of justice and love.  What if we have positive evidence that God’s principles are not being followed? We don’t want to encourage irresponsible, unjust, illegal or unloving behavior. It’s not good for the person or those under his influence.

Jesus tells us we need to talk to the person doing the wrong. This is in the context of a fellow believer in the church, a peer where we are all equal before God. Matthew 18:15  “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. “ Sometimes people won’t listen. Then what, you need to get others involved.  If you read the following verses it gives the procedure.

In a family or work environment the person in authority would be the one you would go to. They are responsible. They would set the rules of the household or the standard in the office.  What if the one in authority is the one with the difficulties that can’t be overlooked?  It is still right to go talk to them in a kind and loving way, not accusatory. We want to be helpful. Jesus encourages us to talk to them and if he listens “you have gained your brother,” or recovered him from his wrong doing.

In this situation if they will not listen and depending on the seriousness of the situation you would need to decide if this wrong is something you absolutely cannot condone and is tearing you down or if it’s something you can live with.

All of these actions need a generous amount of prayer and staying close to the Lord. These are difficult situations.  It’s just not as easy as turning a blind eye.

Felechia, not knowing what you have in mind and why you asked the question we can only give the scriptures in a general way.  If this brings further questions to mind please ask another question or if it’s of a personal nature talk to a Christian friend. We didn’t want to give a sugar coated answer without realizing the careful reasoning and delicate situations we all may face.