Which is harder—gaining new friends or keeping the ones you have already? Most people seem to think that developing new friends is quite a bit more difficult. Equally challenging is the decision to forgive an insult or injury brought on by someone who claims to be our friend.
I remember telling something in confidence (when 17 years old) to a “friend”, only to hear that he had broken our confidence the very next day. How disappointing and hurtful it was. Because of his foolish action, to this day I am hyper- vigilant about keeping anything shared with me in confidence – absolutely confidential. I would never want anyone to hurt that way because of me. And yes, I had to decide if I would hold a grudge or forgive this person.
“You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong.” –Proverbs 17:9
I could well have slammed him for breaking a confidence by telling everyone what he did to me. I could have done it every year that rolled by too. If there had been social media, imagine the venom I could have spewed! As it was, I let the matter go. I forgave him after telling him how hurt and disappointed I was. Turns out, he was young and immature too. We both learned valuable lessons and we kept our friendship.
I believe it was Sir Francis Bacon (I love anything bacon) who said, “lets fry up some juicy rumors!”
Just kidding, but he really did say this. “The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship”.
Whatever it takes, I will work hard to keep the friends I have by speaking well of them, and when a disappointment, rebuff is needed, I will go to them alone and keep the matter between ourselves. When correction is appropriate, I hope to offer it AND receive it equally and in good spirit.
“You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.” –Proverbs 27:6
I hope they value my friendship this much and will do the same for me.