Good Friend

by Phoebe, 14, Tennessee

“Ha ha! I have conquered!” I shouted as I raised my canoe paddle over my dripping head. My canoe trip at summer camp had been full of excitement and adventure.

I had tipped over, fallen out, dropped my paddle, run aground and gotten lost. Now here I was, the last one back to the canoe dock, with my cabin mates staring at me impatiently. Even my camp counselor, who had fallen out of my canoe and had to swim back to shore, was there.

I love summer camp for many reasons: making new friends, growing closer to God and having an adventure. But as I scanned the shore, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach.

For the past two days, I had been so caught up in making new friends that I had forgotten about my best friend, Katie.

The next day, I was sitting under a tree and reading my Bible when I came across this verse:
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Was I being a friend who sticks closer than a brother? No, the friend I should have stuck with was Katie. She was a true friend, and I had ignored her, excluded her and shut her out.

I went to God in prayer, and when I finished I went to find Katie. “Katie,” I began, “I’m really sorry for excluding you. I realize now that you are one of the most important people in my life, and I hope you can forgive me.” For a moment I thought she would not forgive me, but then she did!

In order for a relationship to work, you must forgive each other. A good friend will forgive you when you mess up. Remember that you also have the greatest friend ever: Jesus. He will never let you down and will always forgive you.

Forgive your friends when they hurt you and be honest with them always. It’s never easy, but it’s worth it.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission.