Day 17: 40 Day Love Challenge
Day 17: Forgive someone, and you will strengthen your friendship. Keep reminding them, and you will destroy it. Proverbs 17:9
Forgive one you know and you will grow and strengthen your friendship and relationship. Keep reminding and being a nag and your friendship will not survive
He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. Proverbs 17:9
Wait a minute? Is God actually encouraging a cover-up? Why should someone conceal a transgression? Why would it be loving to not bring out a sinful situation?
Solomon is not encouraging a cover-up, but rather is giving us wisdom as to how to be a loyal friend. The one who is concealing the transgression – is one who is doing so out of love. The love that this one seeks is a love that exists between husband and wife – a love between friends. It is love and a loyalty to the one that we love that keeps us from repeating a matter – repeating a sin. We choose to forgive and set such things aside. Rather than bring up a sin again – we choose to conceal such things. This is not a cover-up but rather forgiveness and releasing the one we love from having to constantly bear the guilt of their transgression before us.
Solomon tells us that it is the one who “repeats a matter” who separates intimate friends. The word “repeats” is so vital here. It means that the issue has been brought up – it has been mentioned, but now it is over – and it will not be mentioned again – it won’t be repeated! There has been forgiveness.
When there is NOT forgiveness, such a breach will separate even intimate friends. This is the person who chooses to remind the one at fault again and again of their error. And this will separate good friends. The true friend – the one who seeks that intimacy with a friend – forgives and moves on – leaving the sin and choosing to remember it no longer.
This is also true on a corporate scale within the church as well. When we go about repeating the transgressions of others – i.e. when we go about gossipping concerning how others have sinned – we will separate the church – there will be a split! Oh, how wise is the one who chooses to conceal the errors of others – rather than use them as a bludgeon to castigate them for their missteps. We forgive – we move on – and we seek love in that relationship. What we want is a return to intimacy and a restoration of relations. A wise man will do such things. A fool continues to tell others of their wrong – of how they blew it – and in the process – separates and splits things wide open.
Seek love – choose to forgive and conceal the fact that they’ve blown it. That is seeking love.
What Does John 17:9 Mean? ►
“I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;
The hour had arrived for Christ’s betrayal and crucifixion and the Lord Jesus gave His disciples an amazing glimpse into the intimate fellowship and precious communication, which took place between the Father of all mercies and His dearly beloved Son – as Jesus prayed His High Priestly prayer in their hearing.
Christ’s sovereignty over all flesh was referenced in His prayer, as was His authority to grant the gift of eternal life to those whom the Father had given to Him – to those who by faith would trust in His redeeming work. Christ received authority to give eternal life to all who would believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God – all whom God knew from before the foundation of the earth would believe.
Throughout His life the Lord had glorified the Father and finished the work that He has been sent to do. He had laid aside His glory in order to redeem the world, but now He prayed that the mutual glory He shared with the Father before His incarnation would be restored. But His tender heart towards His dearly beloved disciples does not go unnoticed.. for His prayer to the Father included those whom Jesus had chosen to be His closest friends – who had received Him; followed Him and believed on His name.
For three years Christ taught this little band of men. He had given to them the word of Life, which had come from heaven above. They had received the word of Truth and accepted Christ as the Word of God made flesh. They had discovered Him to be the good Shepherd, the Water of life – the Messiah of Israel and the living Bread.. Who came down from heaven. They knew Him to be the resurrection and the life – and that He alone can give light in this dark world and hope to a lost and dying race.
And Jesus was about to transfer the enormous responsibility of spreading the gospel into their hands. They were to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and to the uttermost parts of the earth. And it was in this final hour that Christ prayed on their behalf, that they would be united in the truth that they had received from Him – and that God would keep each one from the wicked schemes of the evil one. This little group of men were very precious to the Saviour for the Father had given them to the Son, and they had received His word and understood that Jesus came forth from God, and was sent by the Father.
The love of God for the world was so great that He sent His beloved Son to be the sin-sacrifice for the whole of mankind – but Christ’s prayer was not for the world, but for the men who would represent Him to the world. Christ interceded for His chosen disciples, who would lay the foundation for the fledgling church, and who would share the good news of the gospel of Christ to the Jew first; to the Gentiles and to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Christ’s prayer would later expand into intercession for the whole body of Christ, who would come to faith in Him through the word of their testimony – and their faithful witness to the truth. The hour for Christ’s betrayal and crucifixion arrived.. and so He prayed that we would be united together in doctrine, in faith, in hope, in truth and in love.
Proverbs 17:9 Meaning of Separates Close Friends
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Explanation and Commentary of Proverbs 17:9
Fostering love is the goal of the Christian. One sure way to do that is to be the stopgap for information that would sow discord among brothers. It is a simple and powerful way to be a force for good in a world that loves to see a conflict. On the other hand, repeating a confidential matter, or simply a matter that will sow discord gives satan a foothold to oppose love.
Why would anyone do that? For some, it is a way to build a connection with another, however cheap, and gives them a short-term emotional payoff, though with a long-term consequence. Many who engage in this behavior would like to forego such action but lack the self-discipline to refrain. Others don’t see any moral problem at all with the activity. They are the foolish tools of the evil one.
If you see that you are often tempted to repeat confidential matters for any reason at all, ask the Lord to instead make you an instrument of peace, one who fosters love between people by letting incendiary information stop with you, giving satan no way in to “separate close friends.”
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Proverbs 17:9
#1 “Whoever would foster love…”
Is this not one of the main jobs of the representative of Jesus? Many Christians dream about ways to bring love into the world, all the while missing a simple way to accomplish it.
#2 “…covers over an offense,”
Chances to be offended abound, especially for one who is sensitive to any perceived slight. The first thing necessary is a strongly rooted identity in Christ Jesus, rather than in the opinions of other people. Those that don’t have this are likely to run and tell another friend when they have been upset, especially if it involves that friend. Rather than fostering love, this creates hard feelings while strengthening one’s own ill feelings.
#3 “but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
How sad it is that something such as this could come between close friends. See what a powerful weapon gossip is in the hands of Satan? Rather than fostering love, this has fostered hatred. If this is a difficult area for you, learn who you are in Christ, and ask him to put in you a desire to foster love and not hate.