Proverbs 17:9 Dissected & Defined
He that covereth a transgression (violated boundary) seeketh love (affection); but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
This verse indicates that true friends will keep each other’s weaknesses to themselves.
A transgression is a violated boundary.
When we mistakenly infringe on other people we leave ourselves vulnerable to losing our testimony, at best, or, being the crux of a rumor, at worst. Yet, mistakes are frequent in all inner-personal relationships.
True Friends Seek Your Love
But there is a difference between the way a friend will handle your violation. For true friends seek your love and will cover (that is to say overlook) your violation, keeping it to themselves. They understand that the opportunity to spread a little gossip about you in not as important to them than their friendship with you. So they express love.
Those who keep mistakes between them and you are looking for your affection. However, those who repeat the matter (that is to say, they communicate it to others) separate their friendships.
Rumors are Impossible to Unspread
Rumors are like butter, they are easy to spread but impossible to un-spread. I have never met a rumor repeater that is as willing to work as hard at stopping a rumor as they are at starting one. These types of people are not friends, they intend to separate friends.
Choose friends who understand your weaknesses and cover them with a heart of great affection. But avoid and pray for those who seek juicy tidbits in order to repeat it to others. That person would rather spread a rumor than make a friend. They are the one that is alone.