Whoever overlooks an offense fosters friendship, but whoever gossips about it separates friends. Proverbs 17:9 NABRE
The proverbs sometimes deal with a situation that arises in the lives of the just and unjust; and do not necessarily require a moral approval or disapproval. In this case the proverb is speaking about a relationship where there might be difficulty, one of the friends is offended and overlooks the offense. It is a reminder perhaps of a married couple, they will fight and argue and in many ways they have given each other permission to have these arguments. Working through difference can deepen the intimacy of the couple. But, if one or the other of the couples holds an offense, doesn’t overlook being wronged, essentially hangs on to a grudge, then their begins to appear cracks in the relationship. This is true in friendships as well, sometimes a friend may offend us, if we hang on to the offense there’s a good chance it will do harm to our friendship. However, valuing the friendship more than our own feelings we should let the offense go and keep the friend. Gossip is another destroyer of relationships. Speaking about a friend, revealing their secrets obtained through our close friendship, breaks trust and the friendship will be destroyed. We must be trustworthy in what we hear and how we handle what we see a friend doing. Sharing personal or intimate information about a friend is untrustworthy and we will lose our friend.
We can see this in marriage as well. Spouses have many secrets together, sharing those secrets outside the intimate relationship can embarrass or hurt one or the other spouse and lead to cracks in the relationship. In marriage as in friendships trust is critical.
Do you value friendship over your own feelings? Do you gossip thinking it is not offending someone?Speaking about a friend, revealing their secrets obtained through our close friendship, breaks trust and the friendship will be destroyed. We must be trustworthy in what we hear and how we handle what we see a friend doing. Click To Tweet
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