"Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other's achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain. We need to accept the fact that it's not in the power of any human being to provide all these things all the time. For any of us, mutually caring relationships will also always include some measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance, pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment." --Fred Rogers I love this quote as a reflection on the truth about relationships. I've been doing a lot of introspection on myself as a friend, and that's been a good thing. The truth is, though, I'll never be a perfect friend. Mr. Roger's thoughts reinforce two things that I know:
- Grace is needed in every relationship. It doesn't matter if it's a friendship, a marriage, a family or a parent and child. Every relationship will experience the effects of selfishness, thoughtlessness, and sin. We all are in a struggle with our sin nature, and sometimes we lose. We need to be ready to extend grace in our relationships even as we desire to have grace extended to us on our less-than-lovely days.
- Only one Friend will never disappoint us, and He deserves our full trust. When our eyes are focused on Jesus as the primary source of everything we need, then it's not completely devastating when friends fail us. We understand that only Jesus is perfect and so we're able to forgive others when they're not.
Blessings to you, friends!