Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

When to Cover Up

Proverbs 17:9-11 It is the nature of man to cover for himself when he has done something wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they noticed was that they were naked, and they were ashamed. They were vulnerable. They dressed themselves in fig leaves to cover their nakedness. Before this time Adam and Eve wore glory clothes. God's glory light shone around them and protected them from being vulnerable. We are created in God's image to show forth His glory, but since the Fall, Satan has used shame as a false covering for those who sin. The good news is that Jesus bore our shame on the cross. He became vulnerable and naked for our sakes so that we might be covered with His blood and robe of righteousness and thereby be protected from shame.

God killed an animal to make clothes for Adam and Eve. The covering of fig leaves was not sufficient to cover their shame. Blood had to be shed to cover their shame, because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Before sin entered the earth, there was no need to cover anything. Everything on earth was covered and protected by the glory of God.

Sin always brings shame into our lives if our hearts have not been hardened to sin. The Bible tells us that if a man hides iniquity in his heart, he will not prosper. We are not the ones appointed to cover our own sins. Jesus wants us to be honest with Him and confess our sins to Him so He can forgive us our sins and cleanse and cover us with His blood. There is nothing that feels better than coming clean with God through the confession of our sins. After confessing our sins, the enemy no longer has a foothold to cause us to be ashamed or condemned.

This proverb tells us there is a proper time for us to cover sin, however. That time presents itself when we see another person sin: "He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends" (v. 9).

Whenever we tell a person about the sins of another, we are passing on a bad report, which is gossip. We also cause the person we told to be prejudiced against the one who sinned. When we discern sin in another person's life, we are to pray and never repeat what we discern to another. Sometimes, however, the Lord may call upon us to confront that person with the sin, but this is always done in private one on one with that person. On rare occasions the sin may be presented to the church if the person is unrepentant, but in most cases God wants us to seek love, pray for that person and cover their transgression by not sharing it.

Lord, forgive me for the times I have told a person's sin to another. Help me never to do this again.

READ: 1 Kings 15:25-17:24; Acts 10:24-48; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 17:9-11

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