Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Our Verse of the Day gives us some practical advice on love in operation. I would like to begin with looking at various translations of it:
He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends. (NKJV)
One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend. (NRSV)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. (NLT)
I wanted to share these various translations in order to afford us an interpretative consensus of what love should entail. Do you see its connection with forgiveness? Indeed, the most supreme act of love we can offer is forgiveness. God modeled this when He sent His Son to bear our sin debt! Indeed, God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Cf. Romans 5:8) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (Cf. 1 John 4:10) Oh, that we would learn the lesson of forgiveness … to release all debts for all wrongs for all time!
I believe forgiveness demonstrates sincere love in action! Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 13:5) David well understood this concept when he penned: “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven; whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.” (Cf. Psalm 32:1-2) As Paul exhorted: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Cf. Colossians 3:12-14)
I find this application in our study: If I desire to foster the love of God in my relationships with others, it starts with forgiveness. It begins with the covering of offenses as God demonstrated through His love for me in Christ. Indeed, we love Him because He first loved us! In the same way, it is incumbent upon us to love first! Each one of us is to be the initiator of reconciliation … even if we are the one who has been wronged. That is what God did for us! That is what we are called to do for others! And so, I pray we will endeavor to keep matters of wrongdoing private as an intentional act of love. Spreading gossip or repeating a matter as retribution for the hurt or pain someone caused us will serve no useful purpose. Self-vengeance ultimately opposes the work of love.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. ~ 1 Peter 4:7-8