Friends are the family we choose for our self. Isn't that such a great feeling? Friendships often produce the tightest bonds and greatest loyalties. We walk through life with our friends. They help shape our character, cheer us on from the sidelines and silently hug us while we cry. We meet them at all different seasons of life; some have been with us since we were just wee ones and others we encounter later down the road. No matter how they've entered our life, friendship is a gift from God.
Friendships, as with any relationship, have highs and lows. There are times when the friendship might become strained or rifts might be created. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding, unexpected act of disloyalty or a circumstance changed. Suddenly, this person who we shared our life with now seems to be a stranger. And if we all were truthful, we are hurt. Really hurt.
Is the friendship lost for good? Or is there a chance it can be saved? There might be a little window of opportunity where reconciliation seems reachable. When that happens, your first instinct is to grab onto it. At the time though, it's hard to see through the haze of hurt feelings. The unspoken words and presumptions seems to echo throughout your mind. When that happens we find it difficult to walk the path of restoration. Have you found yourself at that place? I think we all have at one time or another.
Forgiveness. Before you can even begin to restore a broken relationship, you have to be willing to forgive. As I've said before, this girls heart can hold a grudge like no other. Forgiveness just isn't something that comes easily or naturally to me. Over the years I've learned that forgiveness is an absolute key part to a successful relationship. There isn't a single relationship on this earth that is perfect. There may be times when you are hurt by those that you love, but it will nearly be impossible to truly move beyond the hurt if you are not ready to forgive.
Don’t be afraid to reach out first. This one is hard for me. Whether I want to admit it or not, this girl can be so proud! That certainly isn't an endearing quality. God’s Word has much to say about pride. When we love our relationships, we should have no room for pride and arrogance to creep in. Regardless of who is to blame, when we are really serious about reconciling a friendship, we put aside our pride and sometimes that means being the first one to take the step towards restoration. It might mean being the first one to apologize, even if you don't know what you're apologizing for. Ask yourself how important restoration is to you.
Let bygones be bygones. Those thoughts of revenge? Not in this relationship! And rehashing the issues over and over again? No way! They need disposed of. With all that gone, God will start to work in both your hearts.. That’s how we need to be when we reconcile relationships. Does God keep throwing our sins in our face? Nope. He isn't keeping tabs and neither should we. When you have finally decided to let it go, kick it out the door. There is no need to pick it back up again.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are longing to restore a broken friendship, ask God to speak to your heart on the best way to approach the situation and if He is leading you toward the path of restoration, ask Him to help you to allow love and forgiveness to be the light that guides you along your way.
Labels: bible study, friends