John 15:12-17

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9

True friendship includes many things: love, a sense of closeness, forgiveness, openness, and availability. A true friend knows how to listen and, if necessary, be silent about his own needs at times. Only God can use a friend to help heal a hurting heart. Friendship also includes acceptance, flexibility, commitment, and a sense of unselfishness.

George Matheson said of a friend: “If I would know the love of my friend I must see what it can do in the winter.” Loving someone else can be difficult. We are not easy to love at times. We have flaws in our lives that need God’s attention, forgiveness, and care. But we also contain something worth sharing with another.

Because of the love of Christ that has been given to us, we are worthy to be loved and to love. It is God’s love that motivates you to care for someone else. It is His example of pure love that spurs you to forgive when you have been unjustly hurt or accused. God loves you even when you act totally unlovely. He forgives and offers you another chance. In the purest sense, God winters with you.

He wants you to have this type of love for others. Next time you are tempted to stay angry at a friend, ask the Lord to help you understand the way He loves you. Jesus came because of His forgiveness and willingness to restore even the most hardened sinners. He is our dearest Friend.

Lord, teach me to see others through Your eyes of love and to forgive when I have been unjustly hurt or accused.

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