Forgiveness in Friendship

“Friend” is one of the greatest words in the English language.  Regardless of wealth or fame, if our friendships are poor life is generally miserable. Happiness is largely determined by our ability to enjoy relationships. Many are not aware that the Bible is the greatest book on relationships.

Why do people have unhealthy relationships? In Philippians 3:12-14, the apostle Paul says I let go of the past and strain toward the future.

Everyone carries different types of emotional baggage into relationships. One example is that we rehearse our resentments. We dwell on our bitterness toward people who have hurt us.  Do you have bitterness or resentment in a relationship?

How can I move beyond resentment in my relationships? Paul says a person must give up their grudges. Ephesians 4:31 encourages us to “get rid of all bitterness.” Throw it away! When a person is resentful, it does not upset the other person, it only upsets them. It’s worthless. I can be resentful toward someone who has hurt me in the past but it will never change the past. Resentment never resolves the problem.  Timothy Keller has said, “Holding a grudge against someone means you think you know what they deserve and you take it upon yourself to give it to them.”

Who are you holding a grudge against? A friend… parent… spouse?  Through Paul God says to us, “Let go of your grudges.” Sometimes we allow anger and hurt to pile up from our past and since that person is not around any more, we take it out on whomever is around at the time. In order to give up our grudges there is only one biblical alternative, forgiveness. I Corinthians 13:5 says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” Those who are in Christ are forgiven so be forgiving.


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