Read Proverbs Chapter 17.
“Whoever conceals an offense promotes love, but whoever gossips about it separates friends.” Proverbs 17:9 CSB
I recently watched the movie “Green Book”, a powerful movie about friendship. It’s about a gifted piano player and his chauffeur as they navigate the complicated waters of the early 1960’s. Highly recommend it.
There is one point in the movie where the piano player finds himself in a compromising situation with the police. His chauffeur is called to rescue him. When the chauffeur arrives at the scene, he immediately sums up what has happened as he looks at his boss’s naked body, handcuffed to a shower head, beaten and bloody. He doesn’t blink an eye at what he sees.
The first thing he does is ask to cover up his boss’s nakedness. Then he proceeds to talk to the police, getting his friend out of this situation. As they are walking to the car afterwards, he never says one word about what he saw. He never passes judgement. He simply says, “I told you not to go anywhere without me.” His boss replies this is one time he thought he wouldn’t want to come. I love what the chauffeur says back to him. He simply replies, since he’s been a bouncer at a bar, he realizes life is complicated.
It’s a beautiful picture of this verse. These two men become life long friends after their two month journey together. They died within months of each other in 2013. The chauffeur’s act of love in concealing the offense promoted their friendship. It could of easily gone the other way and separated it forever.
Concealing an offense is challenging. When we are wronged or when we know someone’s deepest secrets, the hardest thing to do is not talk about it. We want to scream it from the rooftops, letting everyone know. We want justice for what has been done to us. We want to tell the juicy gossip we have learned None of that will promote love, none of it will strengthen friendships. It will only tear them apart.