“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)
How powerful is the period on the end of this sentence? “I forgive you.” Your answer to that question will have buckets-full to do with the quality of your relationships for the rest of your life.
Someone did wrong to you and it lead to a fight. You both agree they were wrong. They say “sorry.” You say, “It’s okay; I forgive you.” And it’s done forever, right? Well, not always. It takes a lot of self-control to let it stay finished, especially when the next fight comes around.
Today’s passage says love grows out of our ability to “cover over” an offense by letting it stay finished, by practicing powerful forgiveness, by keeping the vault closed.
Relationships break when the period at the end of “I forgive you.” won’t do its job.
Think: Why do you think even good friends sometimes have trouble not bringing up past hurts and sins again and again? Have you ever lost a friend because one or the other of you couldn’t let something go?
Pray: Ask God to help you to promote love in your friendships by covering over offenses with forgiveness and mercy when it is wise to do so.
Do: Pay attention this week for anyone who brings up offenses in a way that damages relationships.Tweet