For those of us with true close friends we are indeed blessed. I received a birthday gift from a dear friend a couple years ago and it was simply a nice greeting card and inside was tucked a small card that was pre-printed with the sentiment that said 'I'm So Glad We Are Friends'. This little small note card meant the world to me and I carry it with me today in my purse. If any of you have never had what I call 'friend issues' then be thankful. It hurts to have wronged a friend and ask forgiveness and they shun you. Or it hurts to be back stabbed by one whom you thought was someone you could trust. Maybe there was a friend you had who thinks she has too many 'newer' friends and no need nor no time for you anymore. Perhaps there was a close friend who used to like you but some sort of rift occurred and there is nothing you can do to get this friend back. Friends are indeed a true gift from God. Do not take this special gift for granted.If you have ever been asked to forgive someone and did not do it why didn't you? Close friends should be able to forgive and forget.
When a small child is new to town and not invited to a girls' slumber party when everyone else in the class is invited that hurts. When you are new to a school and you end up having to stand up at lunch because no one offers you a seat, that hurts. Wounds from the past hurt, but we also learn from them. We learn to not stoop to the level of the person shunning or ridiculing us. We learn to forgive whether the person has directly asked to be forgiven or not. When we hear ugly comments behind our back we learn to 'blow them off'. We learn to nurture the friendships of the people in our lives who do appreciate us for who we are.We learn to 'shake the dust' from our feet and move on. We learn to not dwell on the hurts and the 'what ifs' of why a person does not like to be around us. We try to focus on the good things in our life and just pray for the people who do not really want anything to do with us.
What does the Bible say about this? It is easy humanly to say "why I will show them and give them a taste of their own medicine!" but on the contrary God wants you to show love. Matthew 5:44 says to us "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Sometimes when we have endured things and stood strong we become a better person in the long run. Sure not all personalities will click but I am referring to when a person who used to like you just shuts you out of their life. You have to choose to let it go or wounds will never heal and bitterness creeps in. Begging someone to like you will not work. Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person that they need to say they are sorry. It is best to move on and let this person go.
There are some people out there that when offended or hurt can not let it go. Even though the Bible tells us to forgive, the human side comes in and says to them "look what they did to you. I would never forgive them." Most of the time voices like that are not from God but planted in there by the enemy, Satan. He is the great divider remember. Satan does not want you to have close friends. He wants to destroy the friendships you do have. In Proverbs 18:19 it says "An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars."
There was a comical scene in a goofy movie I saw several years ago called 'Mars Attack' when aliens were attacking everyone after first posing as friends to the earthlings. The humans on earth tried to give what they called the 'international sign of the doughnut' to make friends with the aliens. Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy to win people over? Proverbs 18:24 says "There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." What kind of friend are you to those God has placed in your life? Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." Are you there for your friends when they need you? In Proverbs 17:17 it talks of the value of encouragement when it says "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."
Be this kind of friend. Be loyal, be kind, be sincere, be helpful, be faithful, be honest, and be like Jesus.
PRAYER: Father in this world of facebook friends it is easy to not spend quality time with our true friends. Help me Lord to make time to develop the friendships you have given to me. Help me be more than a facebook friend to those close friends you have blessed me with. Help me to make new friends and keep the old as the saying goes..one is silver and the other gold. Thanks for my friends. In Jesus name. Amen.