Weekend Word is a regular rhythm on the Fieldstone Counseling social media accounts. Each Friday, we share an abbreviated post from one of our counselors, centered around a passage of scripture and offering brief reflective thoughts. These posts will now be added to our Resources page here on the website for additional reading preferences. We hope they might become a refreshing shift for you as you enter into the weekend!
Many of the proverbs are known for providing punchy truths that are intended to be life principles on the path toward wisdom. They offer us a wide variety of applications when we find ourselves facing a difficult life circumstance or navigating the complexities of a fractured relationship.
Whoever conceals an offense promotes love,
but whoever gossips about it separates friends.
A rebuke cuts into a perceptive person
more than a hundred lashes into a fool.
Concealing an offense presents a particular challenge when we have been hurt or disappointed. It calls us to lay down the demand to have our pain and frustration justified by the affirming voices of others. Sometimes it feels better to see the offending party be outed, exposed, maybe even humiliated — “See, I was right about that person,” or, “I can’t believe they haven’t apologized!”
But this is not the way of love.
If we want to love others well and wisely, we will seek to bind ourselves together 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 them rather than go the way of separation.
When we choose the way of love, there is much greater hope for a course correction. Concealing does not mean we hide, minimize, or blindly overlook real offenses. Concealing faces the reality of one’s sin against us and brings it into the light of a secure relationship — with each other and with God.
Concealing or covering an offense gives space for the offender to see his sin more clearly and to receive the cuts of rebuke — cuts offered with prayerful precision and for the purposes of healing.
Reflections to consider:
• What would it practically look like for me to conceal the offense of the one who has offended me?
• How can I best promote love and safety in my relationships rather than shame and separation? (See Proverbs 17:17)
• If I am the one who has offended, am I humbly welcoming of a rebuke? Am I willing to have an accurate perception of myself, with the help of God and others? (See Proverbs 17:24)
[Note: These thoughts are not intended as a framework for relationships that are characterized by chronic harmful behaviors or controlling and abusive tendencies. If you are experiencing an abusive relationship, consider contacting your local legal authority or domestic violence center.]
Melissa Affolter has served in various aspects of counseling and discipleship ministries for nearly twenty years in the local church.