Together in Christ: 'Fostering Love, Not Creating Roadblocks' — Proverbs 17:9

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

— Proverbs 17:9 NLT

Key Thought

Love cannot flourish in a person who constantly harps on the faults of others. Fault-finding is the air and wood that keeps the fires of anger, discord, disagreement, hurt, and bitterness alive. [1] Spreading and listening to such fault-finding gossip corrupts both the speaker and the listener and corrupts our innermost being. [2] Most of all, hanging on to the faults of others separates us from people we need as friends and that Jesus commands us to love!

Thankfully, the love we have for others, and their love for us both grow when we forgive another person's fault. Jesus demonstrated this principle when He died for our sins. Paul used Jesus' example to help Christians in Philippi mend their relationships with each other. [3] Forgiveness releases the power of the Holy Spirit to heal wounds and fill our lives with love. [4] An old country proverb I heard years ago, says it well:

     To forgive means setting the captive bird free
           then realizing your heart was the captive bird!

[1] Proverbs 26:20, 22:10.
[2] Proverbs 18:8, 26:22.
[3] Philippians 4:1-3, 2:6-11.
[4] Romans 5:5-11; Galatians 5:13-23.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for giving me Your power to forgive and bringing Your healing to my relationships that were once damaged by sin, insensitivity, and unkind words. Thank you for those who have forgiven me and covered my faults with their love. I confess that my first instinct when wounded is to magnify the offense of another by holding a grudge and sharing that person's misdeeds with someone else. I have seen how this damages my relationships and breaks Your heart, so I ask that the Spirit take control and help me slow down and invite Jesus into my heart when I am hurt and wounded. I need your help, Jesus, to let go of the faults of others. I want to do it with love. I don’t want to blow their weaknesses out of proportion but forgive them so that we both can experience the joy of Your love and the freedom forgiveness brings. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 4:30-5:2
  • Philippians 4:2-3, 2:6-11


Archived Facebook Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Saturday, January 28, 2023

A daily guide from the gospels that challenges readers to live for Jesus.
"Suddenly, the angel [that told the shepherds about the Messiah's birth] was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God and..."
A daily dose of Christian quotes to inspire and encourage.
"The Christian's hope for the future must have a sanctifying influence upon the present."
A daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
"Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil."
A daily devotional about God's power for our battles.
""I will give it all to you," he [the devil] said [to Jesus], "if you will kneel down and worship me." "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For....."


Illustration of Proverbs 17:9 NLT —  Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.