Proverbs 17:9 He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
You’re driving down the road in wintery weather. A truck goes by and suddenly your windshield is covered with slush and dirt. Visibility has just decreased about 99% and you can’t see anything. Even with your wipers on high it just becomes a brown blur. At that moment isn’t it nice to push the button and have your windshield sprayed with washer fluid? In seconds you can see again.
One of the nice things about this illustration is that in real life the consequences of not having a functional windshield washing system are immediately apparent when the need arises. For most of us, the one item that most likely could go wrong is to be out of fluid. Driving and not being able to see just don’t go together.
We might not realize it but failing to overlook offenses in relationships is like driving in traffic without being able to see; accidents happen and damage occurs. Such ‘mud’ on the windshield of life is normal. Jesus followers have the ‘spiritual fluid’ and the practical ability to clear it away. We don’t take offense. We cover over the offense. We overlook it. We forgive.
We do not allow offenses to become wedges in relationships. That is exactly what the enemy of our souls wants to have happen. The Message puts today’s verse this way:
Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
The Amplified Bible spells out a bit more the actions involved in this:
He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.
May we have the spiritual eyes to see the ‘mud’ on our windshield when offenses occur so that we will respond in a way that reflects the love we share.