"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful...Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
Proverbs 27:6, 17
Having true, loyal, and loving friends are hard to come by. We pray together, play together, cry together, laugh together, forgive one another, and just live life together. I can only think of a few people that I can say have been true friends.
There have been a few friends in my life that I have wronged, and miraculously they wholeheartedly forgive me and love me (it seems) even more than previously. Maybe it is just my perception, because I am the forgiven one, but nonetheless the love given to me from them is sweeter to me.
Those friends will never know the impact they have made in my life by being so forgiving. It changes my life. It shows Christ's love, and the love He's given them for me, amazingly. I love that God moves in their heart so freely.
Part of it, I know, is that they remember that God forgave them, when it was undeserved. I know there are expectations on Christians to live holy lives, for God indeed does call us to live holy lives. Yet, God even recognizes that we will not live perfectly while in these sinful bodies.
When I do sin, and then repent, it is sweet when the one I've sinned against freely and immediately forgives me. I always know that God will forgive me, but when a person forgives me, that is such a blessing. It is nice to see God's work in their lives toward me. One of the sweetest gifts in my life is forgiveness from one I have wronged.
It makes me appreciate my salvation in Jesus Christ even more. I would not be able to experience forgiveness the way I do, nor forgive like I can, without Him. Life becomes more bearable because of Him.
Thank you to my friends and family for the forgiveness they have given me throughout these years. You have endured my sins. You have experienced the years I backslid and was not living for the Lord. You have experienced the times I did not listen to God, and unfortunately it affected you and Him. Thank you for your love, your forgiveness, your relationship. Without God, none of it would be possible. Praise God for forgiveness!
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
I John 1:7-10
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
I John 4:11
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:"
I Peter 3:8
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."