Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
The 1970 dramatic film Love Story introduced one of the most oft-quoted lines about love in the modern era: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” One of the stars of that film, Ryan O’Neal—who had the words spoken to him by his dying girlfriend—was in a romantic-comedy movie two years later with Barbra Streisand (What’s Up, Doc?). In that movie, when Streisand says those same words to O’Neal, he responds, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
Most people would agree with the 1972 assessment from What’s Up Doc? of “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” But there’s a kernel of truth there. After all, “love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12; see also 1 Peter 4:8). Theoretically, that means one doesn’t have to say “sorry” to be forgiven. But biblically, there is a problem; there is a price to pay for sin: death (Romans 6:23). And Jesus paid that price for us—unconditionally. Jesus introduced true unconditional love to the human experience, paying a horrific price for our sins. But that doesn’t mean we are exempt from saying “sorry” when we sin (1 John 1:9).
Let unconditional love be the basis for all your relationships. But if you sin, always say “sorry” to God and others.
Repentance is being sorry enough to quit your sin.