If you are just joining us, we are journeying together through Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Uninvited.” If you would like to read along, you can get your own copy of Lysa’s book HERE (affiliate link).
Read the previous post here:
Today we are looking at chapter 6 which is all about rejection in friendships.
When Your Friendship Breaks
Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a heart as beautiful as yours.
Lysa’s words ring true, don’t they? Yet, how often do we allow those things to grow in our heart when we’ve been hurt by someone? We can let the thorns of bitterness, resentment and anger grow in our hearts over time toward a friend that hurt us, or we can allow God’s healing to come in and give us peace and love toward them over time instead.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a friendship that was great at one time and then something happened and it turned to less than great. If you can relate, then listen deeply to these next words:
Truth says I have an enemy but it’s not really her. She may very well be the cause of some hurt in my life, but she’s not my enemy. And I may very well be the cause of some hurt in her life, but I’m not her enemy.
We have an enemy, and it’s not each other.We have an enemy, and it's not each other. ~ Lysa Terkeurst Click To Tweet
The truth is, we are sinners. We live in a sinful world. We act according to our own best interests. We hurt one another. We build up walls between each other. Sometimes it feels easier to avoid and distance ourselves than to work through the tough stuff. But, when we do that, we make our friend the enemy instead of the one who is our real enemy. We allow our enemy to get in the middle and to sew the seeds of bitterness, resentment and anger. This just leads to more hurt and the only answer is to turn to God. Listen again to the words that Lysa writes in a prayer:
I don’t know all the details entangled in this issue. But You know all. Therefore, You, God, are the only One who can handle all. There are a lot of things my flesh is tempted to seek – fairness, my right to be right, proof of her wrongdoing, to make her see things from my vantage point – but at this point, the only thing healthy for me to seek is You. You alone. I’m going to be obedient to You and let You handle everything else.
God is in control and can work in our hearts and minds to transform us and heal us. He can do the same in our friend. We can trust God in this. We simply need to focus on Him and live in obedience.
When I look back over the different friendships I’ve had over the years and remember the ones that were at times really great but turned into a memory, I recognize something key. I recognize that yes, hurt happened on both sides of the equation, but it seems that true forgiveness didn’t happen. If true forgiveness happened, then I would still be in touch with these friends. I would still have connection with them. We would still be friends.
Forgiveness means letting go of the bitterness, resentment and anger. It means letting go of the “right” to hold something against the person because they hurt me. It means allowing myself to be vulnerable again. It means taking down the wall and reaching out to try to get back to where we once were. It means recognizing that we are both sinners and we both will make mistakes and we will probably both hurt each other again, but that’s okay, because we have a Savior who forgives us, heals us and transforms us and can make our friendship good again. In fact, having gone through a tough situation will probably mean that our friendship becomes even deeper.
Do you have a friendship in your life that is broken? Have you been holding on to bitterness, resentment or anger toward them? Are you walking in guilt and avoidance? Are you letting the enemy have space between you?
I encourage you to start the healing process by turning to God, accepting His forgiveness and asking Him to transform your heart and mind toward forgiving your friend and letting go of the negative stuff. Pray that He does the same in your friend. Work at reaching out to them, but recognize, they may not be in the same place as you. That would be hard, but you can still live in peace and find the healing you need.
Blessings my friend! I pray that God will work in your life this week.
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