Up For The Challenge
We have great friends. They encourage, support and correct. Wait, did that just say correct? Yes! Friends, in the right way and with love, should be able to correct our thinking and behavior when it doesn’t line up with God’s word. They should be allowed to stop us when we gossip or tell us when we have been a jerk.
The goal of true Biblical friendship is about helping each other become fully devoted followers of Christ. Sometimes, that’s through laughter, sometimes that is through speaking the truth in love.
Now, I’m not talking about the annoying or petty things. These things we just need to get over. Nobody is perfect. I am talking about sin or unhealthy thoughts, feelings or actions that don’t align with God’s truth. When we notice these things, we have the choice to pray and give God time to open their eyes, or choose to talk to them about the issue.
Here are 3 questions to think through before talking to a friend. 1. Does this issue need addressed because their thoughts, actions, or feelings are not aligning with God’s truth? 2. Is this issue putting them in a dangerous place either emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually? If the answer is yes, God may be leading you to talk to them about it. 3. Is there someone already addressing the issue and walking them through it? If there is, take some time to evaluate your motives. You may find that you just want to add your opinion or that they are changing slower than you would like.
If you do talk to a friend, most of the time, it’s a matter of helping them realize, on their own and through good questions, how their actions, thoughts or feelings are not lining up with God’s word. As you pray about approaching them, remember: arguing won’t convince them and your thoughts and observations won’t change them…but God’s process and truth will. Always point them towards truth in a loving way!
Now, if you are the one someone is talking to, no matter what is being said or how you feel, take it to God. Allow Him to show you what He wants you to see. Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it’s something. Don’t allow pride and defensiveness to destroy a friendship or stop you from growing deeper in love with God.
Confrontation isn’t easy, but there has to be room for it in our relationships. This process allows us to live out what it means to have true, Biblical friendship.