Friendships don’t magically maintain themselves. They need nurture, patience and forgiveness. Recently, I was rather frustrated by something a friend had done and wanted to tell her so! But I decided to pray about it before I did. And I’m glad I did. Sometimes we just need to forgive privately and not make a big deal about it. I came to that decision after reading one of the best descriptions of friendship in an online devotional by Tiffany Bluhm.

“Cherished friendships aren’t made overnight. They require intention, forgiveness, love, and belief in what God is doing in the other. Over time, they grow in the dark and the bright seasons of life. They aren’t one-sided or selfish. They look to celebrate and serve the other person with no strings attached. They aren’t dependent on each other for value or worth. They honor value and worth found in Christ. They encourage the best of who we are, never to exploit or shame our weaknesses. They speak well of each other in person and with others.

Despite the best of friendships, it’s likely it will hit a rocky patch. In friendship, we bounce when there’s strife, or we, as Colossians 3 instructs, “clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Relationships weather rough patches with these virtues.

As our close friends witness the muddy moments of our lives, they become the feet of Jesus, as their companionship reminds us we’re not alone. They resemble his mouthpiece of hope and truth and his arms wrapped around our brokenness.”

(From YouVersion Daily Reading Plan: Flourish (21 Ways to Thrive by 45)

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