Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
Read: Proverbs 17:9
Listen: Proverbs 17
Solomon knows that all relationships get messy at one time or another. That’s why he tells us to love others by covering over offenses when they happen. And, not to destroy a friendship by telling others about the offense.
Solomon isn’t saying to act like it didn’t happen or do a “cover up.” Instead, he wants us to “cover over” the offense by doing two important things. The first is to forgive, with Jesus as our example. He willingly absorbed the cost of our offenses (sins) by dying in our place so we can experience God’s forgiveness. Likewise, we need to absorb the cost of what offended us by asking God to help us forgive the offender.
The second step is to talk it out privately with the other person. We need to go with humility and a willingness to accept our part in the problem. It’s what Pastor Jeff Manion calls a “Two-Chair” conversation. It’s not a “Three-Chair” conversation where we bypass the offender and complain to a third person. While we can easily get pulled into a “Three-Chair” conversation, Solomon specifically says doing that destroys friendships. It’s better to send the person back to their offender for a private conversation. Watch this video clip where Pastor Aaron Buer explains the loving way to approach offenses.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Ask God for his help to cover over offenses through forgiveness and “Two-Chair” conversations only. Confess to him where you haven’t been loving or have pulled in a third chair. Accept his forgiveness and commit to dealing with offenses the wise way.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.