Want to strengthen your friendship bonds? Walk in unconditional love!
“Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and good-bye, friend!” Proverbs 17:9, Message
I’ve talked to enough people over the years to know that the number one thing that ruins friendships is – being offended. It’s a big friendship trap…so beware. We’ve all been offended and been the offender, right?
Ok, so your friend ditched you and your feelings are hurt – again! She’s too busy to return a phone call and your email is somewhere in her mailbox abyss – no chance of a “Reply” anytime soon. You’re out to dinner with another couple and the other guy sarcastically insults your husband in an attempt to look like Captain Funny Boy. You take a few friends for a boat ride and one friend, with the sensitivity of a rock, tells you how much bigger his boat will be when he can afford to buy one. A friend at work says just enough to insinuate that your daughter is about a mile from Loserville, while boasting about his son’s promotion from stock room to bagger. Your spouse just “toned” you. Your friends want to spend time with you, but they never initiate a get-together; so unless the lower parts of the earth freeze over, you will have to plan the next fun gathering. He promised that he’d be there - but once again at the last minute “something came up” and he just can’t make it this time. You saved up, sacrificed, given and tried to bless someone in a big way and the weak or non-existent “thank-you” made you regret it.
Get the idea? Offenses come…Jesus said they would. People are people. If you’ve been offended by a friend or felt slighted, get over it! If you’ve been disappointed and keeping a record of wrongs, overlook it! Hit control>alt>delete. Don’t let bitterness even think about putting down roots. Otherwise, it’s goodbye friend!
Wanna strengthen the friendship bonds? Walk in unconditional love! Keyword: unconditional. That means no strings attached. Remember, love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs and hardly notices when someone does it wrong. I know…seems impossible, doesn’t it? Without God’s love – it is impossible! So, yield to God’s love, overlook offenses and walk in love…because next week, you’ll be the offender and the one needing unconditional love from a friend! When it comes to being the perfect friend, we’ve all blown it. If you want your friends to overlook your offenses, be quick to overlook theirs.
Say This: Father, I thank You for all of the relationships You’ve blessed me with. I make a decision today to release everyone and anyone who has ever offended me in the slightest way. I make a decision to overlook it, to forget about it and to move on. I will not keep a record of their wrongs; I will offer mercy and unconditional love. Lord, I ask You to help me to be a good friend to others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.