17 October 2014

walK with THE Wise ~ Long on Love

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 17.9

Another way to say the first part of that verse? 

He who clothes shame...

THAT caught my attention because years ago, I remember "discovering" that shame is mentioned in the Bible before sin is. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the Garden. They stood before each other and the Heavenly Father totally naked... unclothed... uncovered... and unashamed.

Then they sinned.

And the first thing they wanted to do was to cover up their shame... their nakedness... their awareness of their sin as they stood before a holy God.

Their own attempts to cover their own shame were insufficient. God sacrificed a lamb for their immediate coverings. Later, He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the once for all sacrifice so that their shame would be clothed and covered by the righteousness of Jesus.

I see two practical ways to "clothe shame." The first and most important is to point... lead... others to encounters with Jesus so that their shame is covered once and for all by the blood of the Savior.

What's the second, hands-on" way to clothe shame? It is to be long on love. Long on love means becoming peace-makers, not tale-bearers - or tattle-tellers - who seek to humiliate by ripping at shame-coverings, reminding the forgiven as well as others of just how badly someone else sinned in the hopes of making self look better. Rather, we can preserve dignity by clothing shame in every day life. 

Sin must be first uncovered, brought to light and dealt with - before God and also before at least some men, as sin typically impacts others. But once that is done, God casts each sin away, as far as the east is from the west and remembers it no more. It isn't nearly so easy or straightforward for mere mortals. This remembered-only-by-self-Satan-and-other-men guilt and shame from past sin often rears its ugly head. We... or others... are the ones - never God - who bring it back up. Imagine homes, communities where we choose to continually "clothe shame" by refusing to keep count and obstinately ignoring the temptation to remind others of God-forgotten failure, where we consistently re-clothe shame, long on love and mercy each and every time the temptation to slip back into guilt and shamefulness shows up.

To quote the Beach Boys, "Wouldn't it be nice?"


  1. Long on love. I appreciate that so much. Wouldn't it be nice if we all gave each other the benefit of the doubt and let love guide our first words! Thank you for this!

    1. yes... benefit of the doubt, letting love guide our words... so good, so hard and so rarely done.


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