Let’s talk friendships. I love having best friends! Best friends are the best! I tend to keep my close circle small because, well, less drama and, honestly, I’ve been burned by some close friends in the past. It hurts. It stinks. Jealousy is ugly, judgment is ugly, betrayal is painful, being honest and speaking truth can be hard. And when you have been hurt by a friend, confronting them is reallllly hard! Let’s be honest, even the best of friendships can sometimes be difficult to maneuver. As with everything, there are seasons. Seasons of joy, and seasons of struggle.
I’ve recently had a loss of friendship of sorts. It has been really bothering me. It hurts! I don’t even know what I did. I think that’s what makes it even harder. I’ve talked with a couple people, understanding what I believe the main issue to be, even justifying what could be possibly going on, but it still bothered me. So I got down on my knees and took it to the Lord. Over the last few months every time I thought about that person I was so angry. Hurt, confused. Every time I got this way, God would just put it on my heart to pray for them. So I did.
For months I prayed for that person. Then, one day I heard an Internet friend talking about letting go of “those friends”. It kind of hit me, and made me sad. It would seem that God has me in a season of learning to let go and although it’s sometimes needed to prune away the dead parts that don’t bring life, it’s also painful and hard. I loved this friend.
As we all know sometimes our pain turns to anger and we start picking away at everything they did or didn’t do. We want to lash out, write long letters that share our hurt and anger. Maybe if you’re like me you just want to be like, “what did I do?!” But in the end, it’s the hurt that is rearing its ugly head.
I started looking through the Bible at how Jesus handled his friends.
My conclusion: He loved them.
He encouraged them, He cheered for them, He supported them, He served them, reached out to them in their time of need, washed their feet. He spoke truth to them. He loved them. Even when He knew He was being betrayed or rejected. He still loved them. And eventually, He died for them.
This brought new questions in my heart. And a feeling of, but it’s not fair. And as God lovingly convicts the human heart, He asked me some hard questions back. Have you loved them back, supported them, cheered for them or with them, served them and their needs, reached out, spoken truth to them? Have you loved them in return?
Some things I can clearly say a strong “yes”, but there were also some very big “no’s” in there too.
Jesus was judged, and mocked, and I’m sure faced situations where people were jealous of Him or his friendships with others. He was betrayed and hurt! In today’s society we are so quick to walk away without a second thought. And don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some situations that are toxic and you should really just take the loss, forgive, bless and release. It’s probably healthier. I also believe that you can still love someone, pray for them from a distance, want good for them, but still protect your heart.
But I’m talking about those deep rooted friendships that have taken years to cultivate. I think it’s important to seek the Lord before you let go and walk away. As I said, some times it’s needed. But also, God doesn’t desire for us to be divided. So, I think we have two choices. One, we can love them and wish them well, pray for them, and just accept the fact that we are in different seasons of life. Or two, you can dig deep, first in your own heart, asking God to show you your own errors in the friendship. Then begin praying for them. Not that they would be convicted, but that God would bring healing to the friendship, that He would give you wisdom whether or not to address a particular issue. Confronting someone that you love can be really difficult and if their hearts are not ready to receive it, you’re just throwing pearls before the swine and it will most likely end with more conflict.
Here’s another thing you can do.. Be their squire. A good knight always has a squire. A squires job was to serve his knight. He would carry his armor, shield and sword. He would sharpen his knights sword. He would protect his knights back during battle. And if the knight was captured it was the squires job to try and rescue him. We need to be as Jesus was to his friends. It’s not our job to rescue them, per say, only God can do that. But we can be there for them just as Jesus was there for his friends. He served them with a true servants heart, just as a squire serves his knight.
Lastly, we are called to love. Love can have a pretty big definition with a wide range of acts to show it. Another thing God showed me was; we cannot control others or what they think, feel and say. And that is not our business anyway. That is between them and God. But we can control our own behaviors. Our own choices. Our own thoughts and feelings. We can choose to stay angry and hurt, or we can get down on our knees and be the squire for our knight. Iron sharpens iron. One of my favorite friendship scriptures. Maybe, like me you’re in a season where you’re not speaking to that person. If that is so, you can still be that iron for them. Pray and intercede for them. Prayer is powerful! Continue making small efforts as God leads healing and conviction on the other end. But also allow God to convict your heart, let him search your heart and motives so that you too can be a good friend in return.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17
Friend 📸 credit: Becca Tapert ~ Unsplash