Relationships are complex things. When two people with unique sets of backgrounds, emotions, and weaknesses interact, by default they will hurt each other intentionally and unintentionally. The question is not if conflict will happen, but rather when it will and how we work through it. This proverbs calls out to the one offended, directing them to cover the offense as a demonstration of love and desire to maintain that relationship. The opposite of this covering is described in its parallel line as a repeating of the offense (“repeats” indicates either tale-telling or harping on a matter).
Those who want to remain in long lasting relationships of love must by default be good “coverers” and bad “repeaters”, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8). In theory this sounds nice, but this is especially difficult in the midst of heated conflict! For the Christian, this horizontal covering & choosing to not bring up the past with our friends/spouses embodies on a micro level the very love we have been given in our vertical relationship with Christ, who chose to not only cover our offenses but die on the cross for them and not repeat them when we hurt Him, for “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19). The only one who repeats the offenses is the “accuser of the brothers”, Satan himself (Revelation 12:10). Would we learn, in the words of Paul, to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32 ESV).” By God’s grace and Spirit’s empowering we will make our way toward that desired end.
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