As we’ve seen from our study so far, the first nine chapters of Proverbs are Solomon’s advice as a father to his son. These chapters are a cohesive unit that impress upon us the urgency of wisdom’s call. The rest of Proverbs (at least for the most part) is a series of short wisdom sayings that illustrates the opposing ways of wisdom and folly. For the rest of our study, the daily reading will include an entire chapter of Proverbs, even though we will focus on a single concept. As you read, consider how each pair illuminates the concept of choosing wisdom over folly.
Today’s proverb may sound familiar if you’ve read the New Testament, where Peter says something similar in his first letter: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). We must keep in mind that love is not primarily an emotion, though it certainly involves our emotions. Rather, love is an action, a God-ordained way of acting toward others. In Proverbs 10:12, love is pitted against hatred. The latter “stirs up conflict” while the former “covers over all wrongs.” Love, therefore, involves forgiveness; it is the opposite of picking a fight or continuing one. Love demands we extend grace when we could rightly continue to throw metaphorical punches.
However, we must also remember that love disciplines, so when this proverb says that “love covers over all wrongs” (v. 12), it is not saying that love covers up all wrongs. Love extends grace and forgiveness, yes. Love refuses to throw a punch, yes. But love does not hide sin, for hiding someone’s (and our own) sin allows the sin to continue to lead them (and us) down the path of folly and away from the Father’s embrace.
>> Forgiveness is a powerful act of love. And forgiveness is modeled for us and motivated by God Himself. Just as God forgave us, we are to forgive one another (Eph. 4:32). Consider who you can forgive today.
Who do we need to forgive? Who do we need to confront and work things out with, and what must we simply let go of without resolution? Lord, as we extend forgiveness, we ask You to restore our broken relationships.