Proverbs 17:9 He who covers an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Without forgiveness friendships become superficial. They become catty. They can even fall completely apart.
When I began dating Corey, I kind of dropped the ball on a friendship with a close friend. Where I used to eat with Rachel at our kitchen table, I now would head over to Corey’s apartment or go out to eat with him. My study dates with Rach became my study dates with Corey. And all the movie nights Rach and I used to have? Well, now I was having them with Corey.
Rachel could have gotten angry with me. She could have started talking behind my back to others. She could have given up on our friendship. But instead she confronted me.
After that confrontation, I could have gotten defensive. I could have gotten angry. I could have walked out on our friendship. But I knew she was right, and I knew I had to ask her forgiveness because I didn’t want to lose one of my dearest friends.
Asking for forgiveness is tough. I’m not a big fan of admitting I am wrong. But I did ask for Rachel’s forgiveness, and she readily gave it.
That was years ago, and Rachel and I only see each other once or twice year now, but we can always pick right up where we left off. And this year our friendship has taken on a whole new depth because of breast cancer. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy about four years ago, and she has been invaluable to me as I’ve been on that road this year.
I hate to think of what I’d be missing out on if I had let my selfishness ruin our friendship, or if she had chosen not to forgive.
As my boys grow into young adults and their friendships deepen alongside their voices, I hope they leave room for forgiveness. I hope they will value their friends enough to work out their differences and understand that covering an offense does indeed promote love, but excluding forgiveness can ruin friendships.
Dear Lord, I pray that you will help my boys to understand the value of forgiving their friends when they have been wronged. That they will both offer forgiveness to others and ask forgiveness when it is needed. Amen.