What kind of friend are you? Are you the kind of friend who encourages or tears down? When your friends make a mistake, do you make your friend feel worse? Do you get on your soap box and pass judgment on them? Do you say, “I told you so” or “You should have known better”?
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24, NLT)
What kind of friend are you? When they are down, do you build them up? Do you speak encouraging words over them? Do you let them know that you believe in them? Do you let them know that you have their back and that they can count on you? When they mess up, do you tell them that no one is perfect? Do you tell them that everyone makes mistakes? Do you encourage them to get back up and try again? When your friends are hurting, do you embrace them in your arms and say, “I’m here for you. You can cry on my shoulders?
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” (Prov. 27:9, NLT)
Admittedly, at times, I can be hard on my friends, especially, if they have offended me. Because I don’t want to be hurt again, I build up a wall. To protect myself from that pain, I guard my heart. I remove myself from the relationship. You know, I become distant. I figure, if they hurt me once, they’ll probably do it again.
“An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.” (Prov. 18:19, NLT)
“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Prov. 27:6, NLT)
When I find myself behaving in this manner, I have to remind myself of Jesus, who is the ultimate friend. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. But Savior forgave him (Matt. 26:69-75). Although, Jesus was hurt, He didn’t make Peter feel worse. He didn’t say to Peter, “I knew you would do this. I told you so.” Instead, with compassion, Jesus went to Peter, mended what was broken, encouraged His friend and welcomed Peter back into the relationship.
Like Peter, we’ve offended Jesus so many times, too numerous to count. Yet, He still remains our faithful friend. Jesus mends our brokenness, encourages us in the process, and welcomes us back into a right relationship with Him. Now, that’s what I call a true friend!
My sister, forgive the friend who has hurt you. Ask forgiveness from the friend you have offended. Let us do our part to mend our broken relationships. Not only that, but let’s be a friend to the friendless.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Prov. 27:17, NLT)
Pray this prayer with me: Jesus, thank You for calling me Your friend. Lord, help me be a true friend. Help me forgive and encourage my friends. Give me patience and understanding toward them. Help me make an effort to restore any broken relationships and be a friend like You.
LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM & IMPACT THE WORLD TOGETHER!