How does one "hide a multitude of sins"?

In James 5:20, what is the meaning of "shall hide a multitude of sins"?

Both here and in 1 Peter 4:8 covering "a multitude of sins" clearly alludes to Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." The Greek translation of this proverb uses the same word for "cover" (or veil) as in these New Testament passages. Covering, then, is contrasted to "stirreth up." Hatred looks for ways to cause problems; love looks for ways to avoid problems.

Love doesn’t tolerate or encourage sin (1 Corinthians 13:6), and, undeniably, 1 Corinthians 5 teaches that sin affecting the testimony and integrity of God’s dwelling must be exposed and judged.

Love "is not easily provoked" in reacting to wrongs, however (13: 5). In 1 Peter 4:8, love enables a believer to put a veil over "a multitude of" wrongs against him personally. In this way, he does not look at those wrongs, but acts as if they hadn’t been committed.

The problem in James 5 is unrighteous action that has incurred God’s hand of discipline (verses 15, 16). By recovering this individual from the error of his way, the wrongs he has done will be veiled from the view of others. We should make every attempt to righteously protect the testimony of fellow-believers.

D. Oliver