Spiritual Practice

Open Door Policy

Rachel Starr Thomson

When I was twelve, I had my first real falling-out with a friend. We were on the phone, and my mother called me to dinner. My friend kept on talking after I told her I had to go and even after I said that I would have to hang up if she continued. She did, and I hung up.

You will keep your friends if you forgive them, but you will lose your friends if you keep talking about what they did wrong.
Proverbs 17:9 (CEV)

Later that evening, she came to pick me up for youth group. Apparently, she had thought I was joking about hanging up and was really hurt; she gave me the silent treatment all evening. I had a decision to make: I could return her anger or I could decide that our friendship was too important to lose over a petty misunderstanding. When she drove me home, I told her that as far as I was concerned, the door between us was open.

Three days later, my friend came over; we cried and hugged. Our mutual forgiveness saved our friendship, and we’re still friends today. Since then, I’ve had many more chances to practice the open door policy—and just as many opportunities to be grateful that others have kept the door open for me.


devozine Sad Teenage Girl In Bedroom With Mobile Phone


KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN: I believe that among imperfect people, forgiveness is the only way to keep relationships from falling apart when hurts and misunderstandings happen. In what relationship do you need to practice the open door policy?

—from devozine (January/February 2011). Copyright © 2010 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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