August 1, 2008

 

Fretting Over a Friendship

By Renee Myers, She Speaks! Graduate

 

The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry

and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us,

nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins;

He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” Psalm 103:8-10 (NLT)

         

Devotion:

It all started with a simple question from a friend while we chatted over lunch. She asked how a mutual friend was doing. I could have simply answered that our other friend was doing fine, but to my dismay lots of other thoughts came tumbling out instead.

 

Although I didn’t say anything bad about our mutual friend (who we both like), I did share disappointments I felt about my friendship with her. Maybe you’ve had friendships that disappointed you, too?

 

Attempts to work through these feelings on my own hadn’t worked. I needed to pray for God’s insights and perspectives to help me understand my feelings, and also for His guidance to help me work things out. Praying to God enabled me to realize that my friend didn’t perceive our friendship the same way I did. Our friendship meant more to me than it did to her. This realization hurt my feelings. I thought of the many times I’d gone out of my way to help her, accommodated her schedule at the inconvenience of mine, and how I’d considered her one of my closest friends! Now I was angry. Surely I needed to address this some way, but how?

 

I considered sharing my feelings with her, but that could lead to other problems. Maybe this was an unhealthy friendship that I should let go of? Unsure about what to do, I prayed again. God responded by speaking to me through the verses above from Psalm 103.

 

God pointed out that He has been merciful, gracious, and slow to anger with me. God does not constantly accuse me of my wrongdoings, and He doesn’t stay mad when I anger Him. He hasn’t punished me for all my sins, and thank goodness He doesn’t punish me as I deserve!

 

In contrast, I had been easily angered when my feelings were hurt. I continued to mentally accuse my friend of what I considered wrong doings. It was time to let my hurt feelings go and look past the ways my friend had unknowingly disappointed me.

 

God’s solution was to treat my friend the same way my loving Father treats me. After all, she’s His child, too, and deserves the same love and grace that’s been given to me.

 

Dear Lord, Thank You for using Your words to help me resolve my frustrations and remind me that I’m to treat others as You have treated me. Thank You for preventing me from taking matters into my own hands, and leading me to trust them into Yours instead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Traveling Together: Thoughts on Women, Friendship, and the Journey of Faith by Karla Worley

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado

 

Application Steps: 

Take note of frustrations, hurts, or disappointments you have from a relationship. Ask God to give you insights and perspective to help you deal with your feelings. Prayerfully seek His help in resolving these issues. Memorize the scriptures below to help you address problems in a Christ-like way.

 

Reflections: 

What is it that bothers you in the relationship?

 

How might understanding the other person’s perspective help you gain a better perspective of the situation?

 

How can you offer the other person the love and grace that’s been given to you?

 

How might this improve your relationship?

 

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” (NLT)

 

Ephesians 4:32, “Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (NLT)

 

Colossians 3:12-13, “God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So always do these things: Show mercy to others, be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you forgive that person because the Lord forgave you.” (NCV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org