Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
September 6 Scripture Selection: Proverbs 17
Food for Thought: Prov. 17:9
The most common, normal, human reaction when offended is to blare it out to anyone who would listen. But that would also be the wrong reaction, the one that would actually exacerbate the harm and completely omit the element of God’s love. There’s a much better way to deal with offense, and it is found in God’s Word. This also applies to when we are privy to another’s faults, even when we are not directly involved.
In at least three separate scriptures, the Word specifically tells us to, out of love, cover a transgression or sin (See Prov. 17:9; Prov. 10:12; I Pet. 4:8). (This is NOT referring to covering up crimes committed against society, aiding and abetting a criminal, and the like. Rather, it refers to our reaction toward the person who has wronged us personally, or of how we respond to knowledge of the transgressions of another.) Divulging information of the faults of another to others as gossip or in a vindictive attitude is completely contrary to the Word and devoid of the motive of love.
Instead, the Lord asks us to cover the sin and keep it as private as possible in expectation that the person will eventually see his error, learn from it, and walk free from it—regardless of the gravity of it. God is always interested in restoring both the injured party and the one who caused the harm. He rejects condemnation because it keeps the one who sinned trapped in the past (See Is. 58:9, 10).
Jesus spoke to the disciples about this in Matthew 18:15-16, especially regarding offense caused by a brother, and particularly if the offense is one that the offended has difficulty in handling privately in his own heart with forgiveness. He said, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” If these steps are followed in love, then the Lord is given room to move and heal the situation. However, if the offended tells everyone about it openly, it taints the attitudes of others and leads them down the path to become judgmental and critical, and, again, makes it more difficult to restore the transgressor.
God edifies. He never tears anyone down. On the contrary; He is always looking for ways to heal, restore, and reconcile. That is what He did for us, and that is what we do for others as we allow Jesus to live in us and through us.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):