Daily D – Proverbs 17:9
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. PROVERBS 17:9 (NLT)
Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—goodbye, friend!
Have you ever wandered through a minefield? Me neither. It is not good for life and limb to stroll through hidden bombs. Social media often feels like a minefield, doesn’t it?
I removed Twitter and Facebook from my iPhone months ago. This saves battery life and sanity. Having not checked Twitter in a few days, I scrolled through it for a while yesterday. About every third tweet was a mine waiting to explode. Many of them were long threads of arguments. It reminded me why I stopped visiting that neighborhood.
We live in an age where people are permanently aggrieved. People are more easily offended than ever. It is impossible to agree with some people without stating your agreement precisely with their words. Choose your own expression and it becomes offensive because you are not passionate enough. We can do better.
This proverb is a good start in the right direction. We can focus on what we disagree on and lose friends and allies. Or, we can focus on what we agree on and build friendships and alliances. It really is that simple. If we have to agree on everything all the time, we are going to live lonely lives. The people I love most disagree with me on a few matters. They can be wrong if they want. I am not going to stop loving them or liking them simply because they make bad choices like disagreeing with me.
We can focus on what’s right, or we can focus on what’s wrong. One builds up, the other tears down. It is much easier to repair what is wrong when we start together with mutual agreement on what is right. We can then move together toward making right that which is indeed wrong. We might even address what is confused and missing. That way we do not leave gaps in the bridges we are building.
Sometimes gender or culture or status gets in the way of us fully understanding and appreciating one another. We can irritate one another unintentionally. Many times we do not even realize when we have done so. When this happens to us, we can express our displeasure, or we can overlook the offense, forgive the fault, and build a deeper relationship.
In the unfriendly world we live in, this proverb reflects a refreshing change. Since positive change has to start somewhere, let it start with you and me.
I will be hard to offend.
Our Father, empower me to immediately forgive other people’s faults. Deliver me from unforced errors. Empower me to build healthy, wholesome friendships with people I offend or who offend me. May we together know and experience you, your truth, and your solutions. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.