Friends love through all kinds of weather ...
The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations. -Proverbs 14:10 MSG
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. -Proverbs 17:17 MSG
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. -Proverbs 27:6 NLT
When we were young we had people in our lives who we thought would be our BFF - best friend forever. As teens we shared everything with our BFF and trusted them completely. As we grew older our definition of 'friend' changed and we understood that be a friend was so much more than going to the same school or playing on the same team. We began to understand that being a true friend sometimes brought pain to us and challenged our ability to love them.
The verses above cause me to believe that being a real friend involves loving unconditionally. A person who loves this way will hang in there with you when you sin. Such love will cause friends to rally around you when when dark storms are raging. This kind of love will help you give and receive difficult words. Apart from unconditional love we really only have acquaintances that we bump into at work or at religious gatherings. Our challenge is to love as Christ loves us.
In you, Lord Jesus, I can love unconditionally. Please form me into your image and help me to love as you love.