A two week series on learning from the past and looking to the future…
Dear 20-year-old Abby,
I know you don’t think you have done anything wrong, but usually when you feel that way it means you probably have. If you are worried about a friend or your friendship do something about it before it’s too late. Now, you have a friend standing in front of you and you have two choices. Fight back with hurtful words and actions or take a step back. Think. Why is she really acting this way? Try to find some perspective and understanding in all this. Try to somehow (even in the heat of the moment) set aside your own feelings for someone else’s.
In Peter’s first letter he wrote:
“Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing. For whoever would love life and see good days must keep the tongue from evil and the lips from speaking deceit, must turn from evil and do good, seek peace and follow after it.” (1 Peter: 8-11)
When I read this I think I can and am trying to 100% live my life this way. Then I think back of a time when I didn’t. My junior year of college I had a falling out with not one, but two close friends. It was two separate instances and the girls didn’t know one another. It was really hard for me to work through the why’s and what-if’s of all that happened that year. I tend to attribute my thought process at that time as naïve, but really I think most of the problem was that I was being self-centered. I didn’t care enough about my friends’ feelings. I tried to talk to them and work it out, but when you are only hoping to fix problems on your own terms things aren’t going to work out. Before I knew it some of the meanest things anyone has ever said to me were coming my way. I didn’t do as Jesus would have. I returned the insults. I didn’t turn and do good. I really wish I had.
There are two more things I wish I had done. I wish I had realized sooner there were as serious of problems as there were. With one friend, I found out several months later there was so much more going on in her personal life than I knew about. She didn’t tell me or ask for my support. As a friend, I feel like I should have known anyway, but she was shutting me out. One of the main reasons God gave us friends was so we could support and lift each other up. Sometimes we can fall a bit short. Just because a friend doesn’t realize something is wrong does not mean you can’t still reach out to them.
I wish I had realized then more of the type of friend I was being. It was not my intention in any way to not be as good of a friend as I should have. One thing that some of my closest friends and I remind each other of is that we all have the same best friend. We can call on him anywhere at any time of day. You know who I am talking about! God always listens and he always provides guidance in his written words. He is the best example of a true friend. Forgiving, loving, caring, fair, kind, gentle… and the list could go on for days. We’re asked to be his disciples and by being a good friend, I feel closer to him. I feel I am doing something he has put me here on earth to do. To act as he would and provide support and love like he does is what my goal is. I now know how much of a blessing friends truly are. I am so thankful for my friends and I ask God to continue to help me to be as good of a friend to them as he is to me.
Hey there! I’m Abby Ingle. I’m so happy to get to share a little something with you today. I currently live in Phoenix with my husband and two super cute beagles. I met Ginger from playing bunco together, yes- Bunco. [It’s not just for old ladies :)] She is such an inspiring person and I love this website. I check in and read her posts all the time. It reminds me of my spiritual path and helps me tremendously to know I’m not the only one who falters. My purpose today is to just give a little insight into what friendship means to me and how it plays a role in our spiritual paths. Follow my journey over at The Newlywed Way of Life.