Friendship is an amazing experience. It also can be a fragile relationship. Am I looking at the good in my friend or am I seeing what they “aren’t doing”?
I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Why didn’t they remember my birthday? Why didn’t they call me? Why did they say I was fat? Yikes, the list of “offences” is endless.
I need to get over it. Jesus offers me a way out through His Holy Spirit. Jesus shows me how to love. Jesus shows me how to forgive. That, my friends, is good news.
Those friends of mine whose commitment is from the heart show practical, often sacrificial, care, love and service. They are a source of encouragement, sympathy, comfort and support in time of need. Such relationships are to be cultivated, especially among believers.
Friendship requires love. Focusing on shortcomings or an errant word can destroy trust. When offended, it is up to me to overlook it.
Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend! | Proverbs 17:9
Friendship requires forgiving. Jesus challenges me to forgive. Jesus challenges me to forgive a lot. Jesus challenges me to forgive frequently.
- Mark 11:25–26 (NASB) — “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
- Romans 12:18 (NASB) — If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
- Philippians 4:2–3 (NASB) — I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the good news, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.