What is friendship? Does it involve forgiveness?
Friendship is an amazing experience. It also can be a fragile relationship. Are we looking at the good in our friend or are we seeing what they “aren’t doing”?
I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Why didn’t they remember my birthday? Why didn’t they call me? Why did they say I was fat? Yikes, the list of “offences” is endless.
I need to get over it. Jesus offers us a way out through His Holy Spirit. Jesus shows us how to love. Jesus shows us how to forgive. That, my friends, is good news.
Those friends of mine whose commitment is from the heart show practical, often sacrificial, care, love and service. They are a source of encouragement, sympathy, comfort and support in time of need. Such relationships are to be cultivated, especially among believers.
Friendship requires love. Focusing on shortcomings or an errant word can destroy trust. When offended, it is up to me to overlook it.
Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend! | Proverbs 17:9
Friendship requires forgiving. Jesus challenges us to forgive. Jesus challenges us to forgive a lot. Jesus challenges us to forgive frequently.
- Mark 11:25–26 (NASB) — “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
- Romans 12:18 (NASB) — If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
- Philippians 4:2–3 (NASB) — I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the good news, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
History of the Christian Training Center
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In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen. It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort. In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International. Learn more here.
In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.
Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns.
Learn more here.