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Friendship: Forgiveness & Friends
If I were to ask you to describe “friendship,” what would you say?
You might say that it is equally yoked in the give-and-take department, loving, trustworthy, kind, thoughtful, caring, and safe, along with many other qualities like these. How about our own friendships? When we look deeper into our friendships, do they resemble this list that we described, or do they need some work? Let’s look at what scripture says about friendship!
Proverbs 17:9 says, Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
This verse uncovers a key component of a healthy friendship. It says that Love prospers when mistakes are forgiven, but dwelling on one another’s mistakes separates close friends. This means that when we truly love each other, we forgive each other! The Bible says that we will make mistakes in our friendships, but when we cover one another’s mistakes with forgiveness, listening, and understanding, we will have successful friendships.
You may have seen a post on social media or heard about a group of people everyone considers #friendship goals. Friendship goals are labeled as the friends that always reach out first, are always understanding of your situations, and regularly make time to keep in touch no matter the distance. Sounds pretty great to me! … But is this really what friendship goals should be? If so, how many of us can say that we are #friendship goals?
The truth is this can be achievable, but this is not always the case for many of us. And that is ok! We are imperfect people in an imperfect world. “But God!” God gives us a fresh start daily.
Colossians 3:13 says, Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
What will determine the future strength of our friendships? True Forgiveness! This means moving past the hurt while giving your friend a clean slate; this works both ways.
Challenge: This week, we invited junior high to join us in a friendship reflection challenge. Please take a few minutes to think about the qualities of your friendships, their good qualities, and the areas that need improvement. We recognize that friendships are two-way relationships. Either picture the answers to these questions in your mind or write them down on paper. Take a moment to remember some things you admire about your friendships; who do you think of, and what do you think of? Next, think about some things that should be changed, worked on, or forgiven, then create a plan to do so.
Remember, those around you are an opportunity to share Jesus, His forgiveness, love, and friendship with!
Prayer: Thank you, God, for your presence in our lives. Thank you for the gift of friendship. Please help us to place you at the center of our relationships, and always look to you for guidance on how to be a Godly friend. Let your will be done today, and always lead us and guide all our steps. AMEN.
We all make mistakes, but the key to healthy friendship is: