Imagine for a second the following scenario: with a regional championship game looming, a coach goes over the scouting report with his team. He discussed how they will pitch, defend, and operate on offense against the other team. Details are presented on each opposing hitter and pitcher. There is no doubt that success is only a matter of executing the game plan.

However, once the game begins, it’s as if the other team knows every move this coach will make. It’s as if they have the scouting report he presented to his team. In fact, they do. Since he was friends with players on the opposing team, a member of this coach’s team told them everything. Maybe he did it with malice, or maybe he just wasn’t thinking. Regardless, he crossed the line and broke the trust of his coach. Needless to say, he won’t be with the team next year.

This may seem far-fetched until you consider the fact that it happens every day.

Proverbs 17:9–“He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends” (NASB).

Maintaining a confidence is a dying art these days. It’s saddening that, just like the player mentioned above, many people cannot keep their mouths shut about things that are meant to be protected. Not everything (in fact, few things) needs to be Tweeted, posted to Facebook, or texted. It is even more hurtful to broadcast damaging (or even potentially damaging) information about a person than to share a scouting report with the opposing team.

How much do you simply keep your mouth shut? How much do you blow off steam about people through conversation or social media? Are you the kind of friend who can be trusted not to share the “scouting report”?

Being a great teammate in sports and life requires that you and I are trustworthy and willing to cover with love even the transgressions of those around us. Failing to do so not only separates teams, but also destroys relationships.

Here’s a prayer:

Heavenly Father, take control of my desire to share everything I know about those close to me (even those not close to me!). I want to be trustworthy and full of integrity. I want to be a friend who loves others by covering what is not for public consumption. Thank you for covering my sin with your grace. Enable me to pay it forward. Amen.