A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
“She’s fine the way she is,” God said to me as I sipped my morning coffee. “You don’t need to give her any advice.”
God had caught me thinking of my friend’s quirks that get on my nerves—quirks that I think she’d be better off without. “But she’s so fearful,” I argued. “She’s always trying to control everything.”
“It’s her life. Let her lead it,” God said gently. “She doesn’t need your advice. She’s happy in her own way. One of the most loving things you can do as a friend is to listen to her and accept her just as she is. That’s the mark of true friendship—listening to and loving people for who they are. Just as I listen to you and accept you for who you are.
“But can’t I try to influence her for the better?” I asked.
“If you want to inspire people to grow and improve, do so my being a good example. That will be more powerful than any words you say,” God answered. “Unasked for advice puts people on the defensive. It doesn’t help them.”
“I’ll do my best to listen to others and to accept them where they are on their journey. I’ll try to keep my thoughts of how they should think, feel, or act, to myself.”
“Love them as I love you,” God said gently.
I swallowed the last of my coffee and let His words fill my heart so that I could be a better friend. Listen. Love. Rinse. Repeat.