A Prayer for Covering the Offenses of Others
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. Prov. 17:9
Dear Lord Jesus, rarely does the phrase “cover-up” do anything but raise suspicion, eyebrows, and ire. We recoil when we experience the manipulation of facts, the minimization of harm, and the muting of our voices, especially in the face of blatant injustice. To be either an agent or victim of this kind of cover-up is never okay.
That being said, there’s a stewardship of information—a way of handing one another’s failures, sins, and weaknesses—that requires a gospel heart. There is such a thing as a “gospel cover-up,” and I want to be much better at it. So as I meditate on this Scripture, hear my confession and my prayers.
Forgive me when I choose to uncover old offenses—by my spouse and children, or my friends and enemies—just to win an argument, gain an advantage, or minimize my own sin. When I do this, it’s as though I never really forgave them the first time.
Forgive me when I repeat someone’s offense to another friend or a number of friends under the guise of seeking prayer; when in reality I’m just gossiping or perhaps even slandering people I claim to care about. How insecure and insidious is that?
Forgive me when I keep uncovered and constantly rehearse the sins and offenses of others to myself—feeding my self-righteousness, fueling my anger, and fermenting my desire for revenge. That’s really ugly, and when I do this I’m a thief—robbing you of glory and my heart of rich fellowship with you.
Forgive me when I constantly repeat my own failures to myself—choosing to indulge my self-contempt and the accusations of Satan much more than I believe and relish the gospel. What a destructive way to do life—again, a primary way I rob you of the glory and honor you deserve, Lord Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you are the greatest and most generous lover ever; for by your blood you have once and for all covered up, covered over, and carried away our sins forever. You’ll never repeat our sinful matters to us or anyone else. You will never hold our sins against us. How I praise you today for your great and lavish love! Continue to change my heart and channel my words—by your grace and for your glory. So very Amen I pray in your holy and kind name.