Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2015
Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends. Proverbs 17:9, TLB
Friendships are seasonal. They come and go. The friendships that seem to stick are the ones full of grace and forgiveness. Over the years I have experienced occasional friendships seemingly tentative from the beginning. Like a delicate strand of a spider web the relationship hung in the balance waiting for the slightest offense to severe the relationship. Gratefully, the majority of my friends defaulted to forgiveness when I let them down. It was nearly impossible to get off their good list, because grace was their first line of defense. Love forgets mistakes and focuses on loving the friend.
Moreover, grace and forgiveness are able to start over with a clean slate. Forgiveness, like smelly trash filled cans—dumps out our dumb mistakes. Because forgiveness empties itself of emotional garbage, its capacity to extend grace is not hindered. Conditional love puts a lid on our emotions and eventually blows its top in anger. Forgiveness does not relive past hurts during heated discussions. It forgets. Grace covers sin’s offense and chooses amnesia to the pain of the past. Indeed forgiveness brings friends back together stronger than before their relational test.
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (Proverbs 10:12).
How has a friend let you down? Perhaps they did not keep their word. Or maybe they appear unconcerned for you and you seem to be the one who always reaches out to them. Maybe you are mad since your friend seems to have time for new friends, but takes for granted old friends like you. Regardless of the relational rupture—you can still be a friend: pray, forgive, and love. Your friend may need space to sort out their own issues, so honor them with a break. Friends who forgive do not dangle expectations over friendships. Forgiveness does not nag—it supports.
Lastly, do you suffer from a friendship that is unforgiving toward you? A relational wedge keeps you from intimacy. Like slushy snow on a warm day, the joy you once had has melted into mud. Only the Lord can move the heart of someone who will not budge on their grudge. Trust Jesus—who wants to be their best friend—to draw them into a deeper friendship with Him. As we all grow in our friendship with Jesus—His lavish love and forgiveness infects His closest friends with hearts of grace. Friends freshly forgiven by Jesus—freshly forgive in Jesus’s name!
“It [love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace and mercy to forgive my friends and to gladly accept their forgiveness.
Related Readings: 1 Samuel 18:1, 19:1-3; Proverbs 14:17, 16:28; 1 Peter 4:8
Post/Tweet this today: Forgiveness brings friends back together stronger than before their relational test. #friendsforgive #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 3 minute music video- Guy Penrod: What a Friend We Have in Jesus
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