5 “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”
Proverbs 17:9-10 (ESV)
When things go wrong between people, the Scriptures offer two great ways to respond. Both get ignored way too often. Let's take a good look at how loving wisdom must behave, and master this art of living.
LOVE COVERS. Whenever another man sins, transgresses, violates, we who learn of it or bear its brunt should cover the matter, not broadcast it. To defame others, to gossip, to hang out another's dirty laundry for all to see, is not right. “Family” things must stay within the family. That promotes love. That offers hope for restoration and for recovered, ongoing friendships. Love covers. That's how real love behaves.
LOVE CONFRONTS. The loving thing to do when another man is overtaken in a fault is to go to him. (Galatians 6:1) It is not only the responsibility of the transgressor to go and make right, but the burden of one who knows to go help the offender to make right by bringing rebuke ("Better is open rebuke than hidden love." Proverbs 27:5). Love doesn't ignore. Love confronts. That's how real love behaves.
Athlete, are you exposing others' wrongs to them or to third parties? Are you ignoring sin or practicing loving rebuke? Are you covering and confronting as you ought?