Last Updated on May 13, 2024

“A friend loves at all times.”

If you’re like me, you’ve heard and read that quote more times than you can count. But what happens when differences cannot be resolved?

Several years ago, while teaching and mentoring a group of high school girls, I had to teach a lesson on friendship. While preparing, a person came to my mind, and I felt the need to take steps toward reconciliation.

We’d had electronic words (sometimes the worst sort to have) over something that might have been solved with some good, solid communication skills. But the past remained in the past, and I could not change it.

I shared my incident with the girls, and while together, we wrote letters of reconciliation or encouragement to a friend.

As I penned my letter to that friend (and felt the sting of humility), I wondered how it would be received. I didn’t know her address, but I had an old one of her parents, so I figured I would try that.

The letter was short and simple, and I hope communicated my desire to accept fault in the incident. From what I remember, I might have written it a bit differently today, perhaps with more humility, but otherwise, it was a good effort.

I know my friend received the note because her mother wrote and told me she’d given it to her. But I never heard from her. I have no idea how she received my effort to make amends, but I cannot control her. The only thing I can control is my own heart and actions.

As I’ve grown older—and hopefully wiser—I’ve decided that I prefer to keep a short account with people. Even if it means sometimes feeling a bit foolish when admitting I’m wrong, I always feel better afterward. Plus, I learned (again, the hard way) that a soft answer does turn away wrath.

Sadly, as I learned, not all things end well. We are, after all, people. And the problem with people is that they are human. The only person I can change is myself and the best I can do is pray to see others through the Lord’s eyes and to love others the way He does. Do I always? No, but I hope to grow in compassion more every day.

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