Good day beautiful people
I hope that this message meets you well? A few weeks back I read over an email sent by an American influencer describing her ordeal with some of her friendships dissolving during the pandemic. She made a statement that really struck a chord with me which I shall paraphrase ‘most people talk about breakups with their girlfriends/boyfriends but not many individuals talk about the heartache of losing a friend’. I think it is so important for us to talk about the effects of a broken friendship instead of burying the hurt under a rug as this can lead to a person harbouring bitterness, unforgiveness and resentment in their heart which are behaviours which God warns against!
Ephesians 4:31-32 ~ “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
I must admit that I believe that all relationships require work, both parties need to make effort and sacrifice for each other. It’s very easy to find your mind in a place thinking ‘boy is this hard work and why am I doing this to myself?’ when trying to figure out wether you should contact another human being or not, knowing that if you do reach out you won’t get a response within 24 hours and if you do get one within 48 hours that’ll be a miracle.
It’s important to realise that conflict in life is inevitable, but what truly matters is how we respond to challenging situations. The book of Acts describes the conflict between Paul and Barnabas and one thing I love is that both men did not allow the conflict to cause them to lose focus. They both had a goal which was to spread the gospel and what the enemy intended for evil God turned around for good. As a result of Paul and Barnabas parting ways for some time more people around the world got to hear the gospel. So when you find yourself in a place where your friendship has hit rock bottom don’t lose sight of God. If you read 2 Timothy (2 Timothy 4:11) you’ll find that Paul and Mark reconciled, and I believe that they did so with the help of the Holy Spirit. I personally believe that during the split both parties respected each other in the process (agreed to disagree) which aided in making reuniting much easier.
Acts 15:36-41 ~ “After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.”
Life lesson 101
1. You cannot be best friends with everyone and some friendships are only meant to last a season and NOT a lifetime. This does not mean that we should stop loving people. We should always be open to showing hospitality and kindness to others! (I’m not saying we should let people trample on us, but we’re to strive to live in peace at ALL TIMES).
Luke 6:35 ~ Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
2. Guard your heart by being open and honest. Share your concern over a failing friendship with a trusted individual (don’t be afraid to get help). Do not bottle up your feelings as doing so is unhealthy. When we allow emotions to fester we can end up exploding.
Hebrews 12:14-15 ~ “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
3. Communicate with your friends often. One of the leading causes of friendship breakups is lack of communication. When we stop talking to each other we slowly end up becoming strangers. When you’re in school it’s a bit easier to make friends and stay in contact with one another because you’re at school 5 times a week. But as we age we move, and some of us end up moving countries and it’s during times like this were we HAVE to make the conscious decision to stay in contact. It’s unrealistic to expect things to just work out by expecting another person to put in all the work into a relationship.
4. Be patient with one another. Life can be so busy at times, people have jobs, ministries and families to attend to so give people time to respond to messages and plans to meet up. Another thing we MUST learn to do especially as Christians is to forgive. Forgive people for hurting/offending you. It is good for us to acknowledge that our Heavenly Father forgives us DAILY.
Ephesians 4:2 ~ Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
5. Pray pray pray. Formulate the habit of praying for all your friends, take all your relationships to The Lord in prayer. And when we communicate often with our friends we’ll be able to identify their needs and pray for them. When we stay connected to God we’ll know when it’s time to love someone from afar rather than having an intimate bond with them (this doesn’t mean you become their enemy). For example Lot and Abraham had to part ways because the land they were in was too small for both their numerous amounts of servants and flocks (Genesis 13:5-12). They did not become enemies and when Lot ran into trouble Abraham interceded on his behalf (Genesis 14:1-16).
Philippians 4:6 ~ “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
⁃ God how can I learn from this conflict you have permitted to take place in my life, for I know that you turn what the enemy intended for evil around for good.
⁃ God reveal to me any ungodly characteristic in my life which may have contributed to this conflict taking place.
⁃ God how can I better glorify you in my friendships?
I hope you enjoyed today’s read.
Christian Lady After God’s Own Heart 💜