The Art of Disregard

“Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love;
telling about them separates close friends.”
Proverbs 17:9 NLT

I’m a fixer. I don’t mean a “handy-man” type of fixer; I try to help people. It actually takes the restraint of an emotional straitjacket to stop myself from offering ideas, strategy or thoughts when someone has a problem. Over time, I have learned to get better about carrying that straitjacket around with me everywhere I go. Now I just have to remember to put it on.

Of course fixing isn’t always bad, but there have been way too may times that fixing causes me to focus more on a person’s problems than on the person him/her self. It becomes extremely easy to lump the person together with their problems and then I find myself in danger of losing that beautiful human relationship.

The section of Proverbs that I am currently reading has a large collection of short, wise sayings that offer insight to everyday life challenges. It’s the essential fixer’s handbook. This week the verse that stood out to me the most was Proverbs 17:9.

“Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love;
telling about them separates close friends.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks.

  • How many friends have I separated myself from by trying to fix them?
  • How many nice nights with my husband have I railroaded by trying to offer unsolicited advice on meaningless things?
  • How many awesome learning opportunities have I lost with my sons because I was too quick to correct rather than just smile and let mistakes happen?
  • How much encouraging self-talk have I silenced by being overly critical with myself?

As long as a fault isn’t posing a threat to the health or safety (bodily, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally) of my loved ones, what would happen if I disregarded it? My fear has always been that disregarding it WOULD pose a threat because then the fault would grow and increase. But the Bible never advocates responding to situations with fear. And in this case, the Bible says that a discerning disregard preserves love. Well, when it all comes down to it, preserving love is THIS fixer’s ultimate goal.

Sound’s like I should leave the fixing to God and transfer my fixing urges into prayer time.


Dear Lord, thank you for giving me your wisdom. I forget all too easily that IT IS FINISHED. The danger of sin has been conquered and you have saved us from all that keeps us from you, including our own flaws. Thank you for giving me more time to love the people in my life. I’ll trust you do to the fixing. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”″>Blame</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Author Image

About messyworship

view all posts

I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

You May Like This

  1. Author Image

    Wow ! Thank you Emily for this application and being so transparent !

    Jerry Pettigrew / Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.