I pray that you awoken to joy and hope today. Let me say that the most important part of my life is to be friends.
Be friends with everybody. Be friends with your spouse. Be friends with your children. Be friends with your relatives. Be friends with your neighbors and your fellow workers and your acquaintances. And yes, even be friends with your enemies.
Clergy have friends and clergy also have people that don’t like them. As a Rabbi, I am often confronted what to do when someone finds me objectionable. There was a time when my defenses would go up and I would let them have it. That only made matters worse. What I have learned is that we don’t have to be friends to get along, but that I will feel much better about me when I act friendly toward you.
Just be friends! The most important and often the hardest person to be the best of friends with is I. That will be a topic for another day.
How often do we accept things that irk us in our friends but not in our spouses? We are often most critical with those closest to us as we believe that because of the closeness we have a right to be critical and judgmental in ways we would not be with friends. I am sure that we have both learned that this just is not so. The closer you are to me the more I need to treat you as my dearest friend and accept you as you are just as I hope you will accept me. I sometimes forget that I have the same imperfections as you do and you tolerate and accept mine with love.
There is no greater gift I can give to those I love and who love me than the gift of friendship.
My prayer for you today is that you be your own best friend and give the gifts of friendship to those closest to you and to all you come in contact with.
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