My sister and I attended a country school; and, as often happens with children, two of our friends got mad at us and decided not to speak to us. This bothered me a lot, so I wanted to do something to help us become friends again. I wrote a little song that my sister and I sang to them. I can still remember the tune and the words:

Friends, friends, friends.
We have some friends we love.
We love our friends and they love us;
We help our friends and they help us.
Friends, friends, friends.
We have some friends we love.

Such a simple little song, but it accomplished its purpose. The two girls became our friends again.

That little childhood experience has been repeated in various ways and at different times throughout my life. Whenever I have known or felt that someone didn’t like me, or if someone has been unkind to me, I have made a special effort to turn that person into a friend.

One time, I heard that someone had been talking about me, so I invited her to lunch. We had a great time. She confessed that I was not at all the way she had imagined me to be. She became a very good friend.

These people are often the very ones who most need a friend.
On another occasion, there was a woman who was not well liked and she treated me very unkindly. I determined I would show her love and make a friend of her. The process of making her a friend changed her completely. I never mentioned the way she had treated me to her. I thought she probably didn’t even remember what she had done, but one day she surprised me by apologizing for the way she had acted. She eventually died of lung cancer, but before she did, I was able to comfort her and share Christ’s love with her.

So many times in life we run across people that "turn us off" or even hurt us by their actions. Their behaviors make them very hard to like. However, these people are often the very ones who most need a friend and who need to be shown Christ’s love. Many times they are hurting, but they might respond to a loving hand held out to them. After all, we all need friends, and to have a friend we must be a friend. We can never win someone to the Lord until they first see His love shining through us. Let's not let the initial hurtful or rude behaviors of others keep us from showing them the love of Jesus. Who knows what he can do in their lives if we choose to love them and give them a chance to be our friends.

A friend loves at all times. (Proverbs 17:17 NRSV)

Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)