When Friends Disappoint Us (Part 2)
So your friends have disappointed you. Now what do you do?
Do you blast them on social media to vindicate yourself? Do you write them off completely?
On one hand, there's the world's way of handling things. On the other hand, there's Biblical examples as to what we ought to do.
In the first part of this blog series, we looked at how Jesus' friends let Him down repeatedly in the Garden of Gethsemane. And then how they left Him & fled the scene when He was arrested. But you know what? He didn't write off His friends. And He forgave Peter for denying Him not once, not twice, but three times! In fact, after Jesus had been raised from the dead, He spent time with His friends.
I know what you're thinking. "Okay, Lauren, that's great. He's the Son of God. He knows what's in people's hearts & minds. He lived on this earth without ever committing a sin, so of course He took the high road and forgave the people who wronged Him! His friends made mistakes, but *I* don't know what's going on in the minds of these people who've hurt me! What if their intentions were terrible?"
Let's look at another example, shall we?
What about Job? His friends were no help to him after so many calamities had befallen him; in fact, they gave him horrible counsel, saying untrue things about Job as well as the Lord. But at the end of the book of Job, we are told that Job prayed for his friends, and it was at that point that God increased twofold all that Job had. Now, does this mean Job kept hanging out with those friends who had said such terrible things? We don't know. But he forgave them and prayed for them. And really, isn't that how we ought to treat everyone who wrongs us?
There is a terrifying statement made in Matthew 6:14-15. "For if you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your heavenly Father will not forgive your offenses."
No matter what our friends have done to us, it most likely does not compare to the fact that we ourselves have crucified our Lord Jesus by the sins we have chosen to commit. So if we want to be forgiven on Judgment Day, we had better think twice before holding a grudge against those who have wronged us.
Forgive them. Pray for them. Move on. We don't have to give up on our friends who have disappointed us, but sometimes putting space between us is the healthiest thing for us to do. Do not dwell on the actions of others, but instead focus on your own behaviors. It will lead to a much healthier life, free from bitterness & resentment.
Photo by Samantha Hurley from Burst.