By Ken Canedo
Dear God, I'm so sorry.
I spoke without thinking
and I've hurt my friend.
If only I could reverse the clock
and take it all back!
We're not talking anymore.
It's killing me inside.
"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter . . ."
I fear the loss of my most valued treasure.
Why is it so hard to say
We can both be so stubborn!
Break my pride, Lord.
Warm our chill.
I am not the same without
- from Prayers for Today by Ken Canedo
Perhaps nothing destroys a good friendship more effectively than the inability to forgive. There are bumps and grinds in any relationship, no matter how "perfect" a match. We're only human. Disagreements and misunderstandings happen. Even best friends will have their trying times. We can really hurt the one we love, maybe because we know that person so well.
Without forgiveness, pride takes over. All too soon, a small spat may build and fester into something that no one really wants: the end of the friendship.
Need to break through to your bud after that last disagreement? Try forgiveness. Is your own stubborn pride causing an impasse? Say "I'm sorry," then let your friend forgive you. Is your friend trying to reach out to you, seeking your forgiveness? Grant it. There are no rules or protocol on who should go first. Just do it!
How often should two friends forgive each other? In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus says, "Not seven times; I say seventy times seven times." That's biblical code for "indefinite and unending." If two people are serious about making their friendship last, they must always be open to forgiving each other.
The book of Sirach says: "A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter. He who finds one finds a treasure." (Sirach 6:14) In a good friendship we can learn how to get along with the larger community and help build up the Body of Christ. When two friends forgive each other, they are getting a taste of God's own unconditional love.
How often have we sinned and turned away from God? And yet, God forgives us and is always reaching out to embrace us. After all, God is our ultimate Friend!
Here is a great song that may help inspire forgiveness among friends:
Matt Maher and Tom Booth's You Know Who I Am
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