Words of Worth

Seek or Separate?

November 19, 2010

Ready or not…here I come!

Do you remember the thrill these words would evoke in you as a child? Remember listening to the one chosen to be “it” count to the assigned number while you scurried away to hide yourself? I recall pressing myself flat against the wall behind the heavy curtains in the formal living room or if we were outside, scrambling around the back of my grandmothers house to a secret spot I claimed to be all my own in order to separate from the others. And when those words rang out, “Ready or not… here I come!” my heart would start racing and my stomach would flip. Would I be found or would I make it to home base and be able to call out “Safe!” and savor the thrill of victory?

Being the seeker is almost as much fun, especially if you are playing with small children. The shrieks of joy when they are “found” are a pure delight to hear. But nothing can ruin a good game of Hide ‘n Seek faster than a snitch. I had a cousin who liked to tell where everyone else was hiding after he got caught. It wasn’t long before we were all hiding from him on purpose because he spoiled our fun.

Nothing can spoil a friendship faster than telling others things that should remain “hidden”. Proverbs 17:9 states it this way,

“He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.”

Seek or separate?

It’s been rightly said that love covers, and many times between friends, especially intimate friends, we are called to conceal or overlook an offense. In other words, if we are seeking the highest good for our friendship, we must be willing to forgive and search for a way to restore the closeness that might have been affected by the wrongdoing.

The second part of the verse can be translated two ways and both of them bear further scrutiny. It can be interpreted as sharing the situation with those not involved and thus gossiping. It can also mean continually bringing an incident up over and over again so that healing is inhibited. Either one of these actions will ensure a separation. This is not an example of seeking love.

When Peter asked Jesus (Matthew 18) how many times he should forgive, he offered what he thought was a generous number. “How about seven times?”, he inquired of his Lord. Jesus said that wouldn’t be enough but to be willing to forgive seventy times seven. I wonder if these words echoed in Peter’s heart when he later denied Him. And I wonder when Jesus was buried, was the separation particularly unbearable for Peter?

Always the Seeker of the hurting, the lost, the wounded, and the just plain ole wandering soul, Jesus demonstrated the most tender of acts after His Resurrection through the words of the young man to the women at the empty tomb, “Go tell His disciples, and Peter…” Mark 16:7

Peter was restored that day by two small words – “and Peter”. Is there someone you should seek out today? Has there been a separation? First seek God’s guidance and ask Him to show you how to pursue love and regain needed restoration.

Looking for more words? Read Romans 12:10-21 and make a list of ways to seek love and avoid separation. (CT)

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