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A Friend Loves at All Times
By Joel Osteen - Jul 07, 2017

In the scripture, when Joseph discovered that his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant and the baby was not his, being an honorable man and so as not to embarrass her, he was going to quietly call off the wedding. But an angel appeared to him and said, "Take Mary as your wife. What she told you is the truth. She is giving birth to the Messiah." Joseph could have walked away and thought, That's all fine, but I didn't sign up to have my reputation tarnished and people talking about me. He had plenty of reasons to back out, but Joseph did the right thing when it was hard. He was loyal.

In relationships with your spouse, your children or your friends, there may be times when you have a good reason to get out. They do things that hurt you; they let you down and make mistakes. You could justify walking away, and nobody would fault you. But when you're a Joseph, you show mercy to those who don't deserve it, you give second chances, you make allowances for mistakes. I realize there are times when a relationship doesn't work out and you have to move on, but don't let that be a pattern where you bail out if they're not living up to your expectations. Good people make mistakes and blow it. People who love you can let you down. God honors people who stick with someone when they don't deserve it, people who will be their best when someone else is at their worst.

You can tell who your real friends are when you fail, when you get off course. Friends stay loyal to the people God puts in their lives. When your loved ones and friends make mistakes, they don't need another judge to condemn them or add to their guilt and shame. You can help love them back into wholeness. To be loyal doesn't mean you condone or approve their actions. You're simply showing them the mercy you would want shown to you. You're being a healer, a restorer. You lift people up.

 Don't be a fair-weather friend. Be the friend who walks in when others are walking out. Our attitude should be, "You can count on me. I'm committed to loving you for the long haul, through thick and thin." They know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they can count on you.

 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.(Proverbs 17:17, NIV

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