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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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”