Monday, April 22, 2013

Proverbs 17:9 Cover it over!

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,

    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9 ESV) 

Peter put it this way:

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

Love forgives and keeps on forgiving! If you would have friends, you’d better be prepared to forgive a boatload of offenses, because friends will let you down occasionally. Your friends can’t be perfect anymore than you can. And when a friend has offended you in some way, you need to be full of mercy and grace, because you need that same mercy and grace daily! I can’t tell you how many times I forget to send the birthday greeting or return the phone call or answer the email in a timely fashion! If I did not have friends who are full of grace, I would have NONE!

It’s so important for me as a teacher to make my classroom a place of grace! Kids need to know that no one will die when they make a mistake (at least not at this level)! They need to know, after being chewed out for failing to do the homework for the tenth time in ten days, that my anger is because I care about them, not because I am offended that my rules were not respected for my sake. They need to know that the next day is a fresh opportunity to surprise me! :)

The other part of today’s Proverb is about the importance of keeping offenses to yourself! You do not need to go out and broadcast that someone has hurt you. Take that to God. Pray for that person - pray a blessing, not a curse! :) How much more damage will need to be repaired if you have spread the news about the offense! Now, when I’ve mastered the art of keeping hurts to myself, I’ll be immediately taken home to be with the LORD, because my transformation will be complete!

Is there someone who needs your mercy and grace today? Have you been holding onto a hurt or offense until it has become a full-fledged grudge? Let it go! Ask God to help you seek restoration and to give you the strength and desire to forgive. Remember your own weaknesses, and cover over the weaknesses of your friends! That is what love does. That is what Christ’s love did!  

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