My husband wrote a really good thought on friendship. Here, I'll quote it for you:
Proverbs 17:9 The one who forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.
What do you do when a friend disappoints you? Are you ready to toss them away and let the world know how badly they hurt you? I'm surprised at some who so easily throw away a friend when that friend has failed them in some way. We can be so idealistic at times, holding our friends and family to much too high a standard when that standard insists that the other never walks outside of perfection.
I'm thankful for Jesus who sought out his friend Peter after Peter had denied and forsaken him.
Proverbs says in 17:17 that "A friend loves at all times". I think Jesus was broken hearted by Peter's actions, I think he was hurt deeply by this friend who had sworn would never betray him. Yet, I know that the love Jesus had toward Peter never wavered for a moment, if it had it would have shown itself to be a selfish (self centered) love.
When we turn our backs on a sorrow filled failure of a friend we might be showing that all along we were really just loving them for what we could get out of them, it was selfish love; that's not true love, that's not Jesus' love. Someone once wrote that "Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will" What will you do?
While I was reading it, I totally agreed. This is a major problem in many people's relationships! There was a problem, though. I didn't apply this to myself. I was thinking, "Oh yeah, he/she needs to read this one!"
Isn't that so like our human nature? We hardly look at ourselves and see if we fall short. We make excuses for our behavior and refuse to admit when we are wrong. This morning, while reading 1 Samuel... I again realized I was totally guilty of not looking at myself.
Saul was actually a humble man before he became king. He referred to himself as "The smallest of the tribes of Israel and the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin." When Samuel was calling him out as king, Saul hid. That doesn't sound like a haughty man to me. Fast forward through Saul's reign as king and you can quickly see the changes he makes. He stops listening to God. His heart gets hardened and prideful. He becomes jealous and vengeful. At the end of his sad life- he fell on his sword, the kingdom taken from him and his sons killed.
I need to look at this man's life and really think about where I am going. I may have started out humble... but where is my heart now? When I hear a challenging sermon or someone's thoughts on a particular subject, am I drawn to think of others.. or that I might need to be challenged in that area? Sometimes we are too hard on others and easy on ourselves.
I admit this is an area I need God to help me with daily.
I am thankful God is merciful and shows things to us. He softens our hearts and draws us to Him. My prayer is that I lean on Him and strive to be fair and merciful.
I definitely do not want to be a Saul!