What to Do When You Need to Confront a Friend
…in any relationship including friendship you are going to have adversity. Why? Because we’re human and humans sin.
The #summersizzlebloghop continues this week and it's my great pleasure to welcome my friend Shannon Geurin to the blog today! Shannon has so much wisdom to share- and she has a wonderful way of infusing humor everything she writes. I think you're going to love this post!
Friendship is just hard sometimes, isn’t it? Do you ever just long for real, authentic friendships? I believe that there are so many lonely women out there who just long for friendships where you can just be you. A friendship that loves beyond flaws and one that fights for the well-being of each other. It can happen..it just takes work.
Yesterday I talked about the simplicity of friendship and how to be a friend. Today I’m talking about having difficult conversations.
I’ve been reading the book of James in the Bible for the last couple of days. I love James. He just kinda says it like it is and while the book isn’t necessarily about friendship, it has a wealth of wisdom and truth that can be applied to the adversity we face in friendship.
Because, you know…in any relationship including friendship you are going to have adversity. Why? Because we’re human and humans sin.
Those friendships that you see and covet? Yeah..they’ve gone through some stuff alright. Are you willing to have difficult, but honest conversations in order to have the friendship you so desire?
The struggle is real.
Confrontation. Ick. I hate that word. And honestly I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than have to confront someone. But I also hate elephants.
Elephants. They’re just ugly. I mean let’s just be honest. They’re big and you can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try. They belong outside, in the fresh air, eating bugs and slurping up nasty pond water through their long noses and licking themselves and such.
So if they’re supposed to be outside, than why do we allow them inside?
You get what I’m saying?
Elephants in a room…usually everyone knows they’re there, they just don’t want to address it. I HATE elephants in the room, and more than likely I’ll be the one to call it out if it’s appropriate because I just can’t stand them.
With that said, I believe there are times in any relationship that you just gotta let things go.
Go ahead..friends of mine out there…say it… because I know it’s true about myself.. I have the hardest time letting things go!
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” 2 Timothy 2:23
In other words, never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut!
That tells me this: I need to be careful. I need to listen first, than speak. Sometimes I might have to say, “ya know, let me think about that and I’ll get back with you.” @@We just need to be careful with our words and pray about it@@ and think it through, especially if we’re angry. Notice it does not say we can’t get angry.
Because we ARE going to get angry at times. We just have to be careful.
It also says to get rid of all the filth and evil in our lives. We have to get rid of anything in our life that isn’t pleasing to Jesus and is causing clutter in our heart.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires, so get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
Jealousy. Pride. Self-loathing. Fear. Doubt. Betrayals suffered. Failures. Disappointments.
The list could go on but you get it.
I call it emotional garbage. Stuff that collects in our souls and hearts that just don’t need to be there and cause us to not live in the joy and freedom that Christ longs for us to have. All of that emotional garbage weighs us down. It not only weighs us down, it interferes with our relationships. It causes us to be self-centered and easily angered and offended.
So, how do we confront our friend?
Let’s talk about the word, CONFRONT, and the context in which I am speaking.
Merriam’s definition is this:
to oppose or challenge (someone) especially in a direct and forceful way
: to directly question the action or authority of (someone)
: to deal with (something, such as a problem or danger); especially : to deal with (something) in an honest and direct way
So, when I’m speaking of confrontation in this post, I’m talking about dealing with a problem honestly and directly; and the need to have a difficult conversation with a friend.
Check your motives. Are they pure? Do your motives reflect Jesus? What’s going on in your heart? Look within. Always look within before confronting a friend.
“Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind”. James 3:16
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1
Then pray, and then after that pray again. Because when we pray, healing happens.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
Pray for your friend. Pray that God will open her heart and let her receive what you have to say. Now listen to me..this is important so lean in. It won’t work if you don’t FIRST pray for God to search your heart and your motives. Pray for CHANGE in your own heart FIRST.
Pray for the situation. @@Pray for God to control your tongue.@@ Just as James says above, our prayers have the power to heal and effect change. Do you get that?
So. What’s next?
After you check your motives and pray, you may feel there is no longer a need to confront. The need may go away entirely.
BUT it may not… sometimes things DO need to be talked about. Sometimes sweeping things under the rug only makes it worse.
I love honest and open conversations. I believe they have the power to bring relationships to the next level and I believe that through open and honest conversation, healing happens…but only if God is in the smack. dab. middle.
So go to that person.
- Speak slowly.
- Lay aside ALL pride.
- Apologize. (Oh, it wasn’t your fault? Yes it was. It’s always our fault. If a relationship is in conflict BOTH parties are responsible and at fault. Lay down pride and be humble.)
Shannon is fun-loving and authentic. She loves big and fierce, and at the top of that love list is Jesus, her husband John and her two daughters, Alex and Averee. She’s a woman who has been rescued and restored and knows how to fight. Shannon believes every woman has a calling and she has a passion to see women everywhere rise up into who God has designed them to be. Although a book is in her future, you can currently read her blog and her story at www.shannongeurin.com.