This is the next to last day of the friendship series. I think it could possibily go on for eternity. I'm constantly learning new things about relationships and how to be a good friend but I know not all of what I learn will be standard for everyone. I hope that you have gleaned a little something from these 8 posts. Tomorrow it will be the end of it..until I get very inspired to write this much again. Don't know that I will have the time for it for a couple of months..
This is one I learned the hard way.
Protect your friendships
I read these verses recently when trying to get focused for this blog:
A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.
There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Protect your friendships against idle conversation. There is a definite difference between just chatting and catching up (which is great!) and pumping one another for information and gossip. It can be fine line sometimes. A line that, once it's crossed, is very hard to back up and uncross!
Here is a very real truth I have learned the hard way:
If someone talks about peole with you, they will talk with other people about you.
I would like to think I am the exception, but I know better.
So, when in doubt, shut your trap and protect your friends, yourself and most of all your spiritual state. It never ends well when you use others as a topic for conversation. And most times you don't ever really trust that person after they've entertained your gossip or have gossiped to you. And really, what kind of friendship is it if you don't trust each other? Yes, I get that there are times when you need a friend to talk to about a certain situation. I needed that just the other day. But I spoke with a person I knew I could trust and tried to keep myself in check with my words. Was I pursuing clarity or banter about an annoying situation? It's hard. So be sure you speak with safe people and keep yourself in check. Talk to God about it first and then seek outside counsel from a very trusted friend if you feel it's necessary. He's our best relationship counselor!
Also, when engaging in true friendship, it can get hard. It can get messy. It can even get annoying. But here comes the' b' word again: balance. If it's going to be best for you to take a breather and get some perspective, then take the time. Don't converse with that friend until you feel clear-headed and ready to approach the friendship in a new way. Taking time is something that is very necessary a lot of times. And if your friend is true, they will value the new attitude and dynamic you have brought to the friendship.
Be real with your friend and nip the gossip train in the bud. Don't let it take off.
It's so nice to know that when you aren't with someone that your secrets are still safe, your stuff is protected. And I'm sure they appreciate your willingness to uplift and not tear down. It's a Christlike characteristic and that is always a comforting thing in friendship!
Hint: if you can't find something to talk about other than other's business with a certain friend, you might want to drop her like she's hot or vice versa. Better safe than sorry. Talk about the weather and go from there. :) See day 2.
Proverbs 20:6 Many will say they are loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly reliable?
Sounds like Mr. Proverbs Writer knew what it was like to have had his back bitten one too many times. Poor guy! All friendships are worth protecting. Even the aquaintance-ish ones. Back your friends up! Be reliable. Be the positive friend. Fight for optimism.. the list goes on.
If you need some help on this one, read the gospels. Jesus was so amazing at calling people out on their crap and building others up when he had plenty of reasons to be annoyed and vent about his frustrations with others.
"You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Go, Jesus! He's a straight shooter !
The topic is a heavy one..our words.
So, let's be careful. Especially if you like to talk a lot. Think before you speak.
Protect one another.