David is a war hero made to feel unsafe in his own homeland. Saul continues to pursue David even after being spared. In 1 Samuel 26, David refuses to kill Saul again, out of principle, for he does not believe in killing God’s anointed. It is no wonder God delights so much in David. God loves great character, and today I want to call us as a church to reflect on how it takes similar character to fulfill Proverbs 17:9. This verse reads, “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Just like David had opportunities to physically destroy Saul, so often we have the opportunity to destroy people’s reputations or by gossip to tarnish trust between friends. Like David we can choose to protect our neighbor, not by lying for them or minimizing sin, but by protecting them from undue reaction to their sins. Many times, I have been spared from shame and embarrassment for foolish things done or said. Those who loved me still admonished me privately, but did not let the damage spread. I felt spared. May we spare one another by refusing to speak ill of each other, even of our sins. Though it seems less extreme than sparing the life of another, refusing to spread gossip still comes from a merciful heart.