8/23 Proverbs 17:9

9 Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Letting go of offenses and forgiving is a difficult task. Our sinful nature is easily wounded by words or actions. Once wounded, we tend to go over and over the memory of those words or deeds. It's like repeatedly watching an old movie that makes us angry. We can tell the story word for word to anyone who will listen. Every time we do, the wound is as fresh as if it just happened.

Having counseled a number of married couples, I watched this proverb fulfilled again and again. Even though one person is warned that if they can't forgive they will eventually separate, they continue to bring up the same old event that happened years before. It's like a movie that automatically begins again as soon as it ends. Over and over again they open the wound in their hearts as if it somehow made the spouse suffer for the wrong that was done. It either ends in divorce or two people in the same house living in separate lives (Proverbs 18:19).

Gossip separates friends as well. Love will cover the offense with forgiveness and grace. Those who love will remember the forgiveness and grace Christ has shown them and refuse to go over and over the painful event or ever bring it up. Those who love remember their own sins and the grace their friends have shown them. It puts the offense in the past to never be brought up again. It may not be possible to completely forget, but it is possible to forgive by the grace of God. It is possible to refuse to dwell on it or bring it up again. It is demonstration of your love for God and spiritual maturity (Proverbs 19:11).

Consider: Isn't it good to know that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins has forever covered all our offenses toward God! That covering makes it possible for us to be friends of God.