Scripture: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)
Thought: The wise man isn’t talking about hiding sin from God. That idea is far from behavior that is considered wise (Proverbs 28:13). What the wise man is talking about is the idea that keeps friends close – an understanding that seeks to privately help instead of publicly embarrass when an error happens. To insist on repeating a matter instead of settling it, and allowing it to stay settled, is a course that breaks the friendship. It’s a course that gives life to the mistake much longer than it deserves, and in a much more severe way it gives life to a memory of betrayal to the other party involved. Repeating the matter is the opposite of love as the book of wisdom says. It is the opposite of godliness, as a man acquainted with sin would say (Psalm 32:1). And it is a guaranteed way to transfer guilt from the original offender to the speaker of the offense (James 4:11). Finally, it ignores the golden rule of true friendship – treat your friends the way you want your friends to treat you (Matthew 7:12).
Prayer: Father help us to see sin in the lives of our friends as you see it. Help it to be acknowledged and then covered; and give us the wisdom and the heart to keep it covered by keeping private matters away from the public. Help us to be friends that can be trusted. We know in many ways that we can offend those to whom we should be close, and that our tongue often leads the way, but help us to remember the truth that your word has spoken so that we may be a friend in a way that lives up to the standard of love and mercy and faithfulness that you have given to us.