Yesterday was Christmas and it was especially memorable because a dear friend celebrated with Mom & me. We endured a challenging rift in our special fellowship earlier in the year, but thanks to honesty, humility and knowing we are to forgive seventy-times-seven, our friendship & our character will continue flourishing.
In this Disposable Age, we could have disposed of one another in search -- and hope -- of another meaningful friend, but we chose to be further honed by our differences. I am so thankful for this special lady's friendship, her faithfulness to God & her wisdom. She makes me laugh like no other pal (and a favorite hearty audience to me) & offers wise council in Biblical alignment due to her spiritual maturity. It's a shame we are all so well-connected these days in some respects. Many might choose to dispose of a valuable friendship the moment a squeak, an uncomfortable tension due to differences, or an argument presents. It can be awkward, potentially humiliating and perhaps discouraging. That's the ugly face of Pride, though.
How do we decide whether to part peacefully, or choose further refinement through those uncomfortable challenges? Perhaps asking if the squeaks, tension, or differences were intentional to hurt & harm or not. If intentional, by all means, mean-spirited energy should never be endured or tolerated. Simply forgiving (to release bad energy stored within) and moving away from that person is best while wishing God's peace.
If not intentional, though, further pressing into one another to learn more about those sticky places -- and how to narrow the gap -- is best for our integrity and long-term mental health. I learned a valuable life-changing practice through that experience with this dear woman. I am grateful for her honesty -- which may have been hard to offer because she knows my heart well & that I would never intend to hurt anyone, let alone her. She mentioned learning that being boldly honest and confronting the issue didn't necessarily spell disaster for either of us -- that confrontation can be healthy & peaceful, even though a little squeaky at times. Mind you, since we both believe that we are to forgive seventy-times-seven, this is more possible than with someone who does not.
How grateful to know that Jesus instructed us to forgive one another essentially infinitely (Matthew 18:21-22) and that our record of wrongs would be tossed into the Sea of Forgetfulness or sent to the lost horizon (Micah 7:19).
Thanks, Dear Pal, for offering your truth. Like a pearl further etched to beauty by nature's sanding -- and not by "parasitic irritation!" -- you have helped me to become a better human being. You have offered me the best gift in the world. Love. I wholeheartedly accept it.