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jesus-betrayed-by-a-friend

Psalm 55:12-15 (ESV)
12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. 15 Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart

When a person helps heal a wound in your life you are thankful, and rightfully so.  They were there for you in your moment of greatest need. However, what happens when that same person reopens the wound by partnering with the very one that caused the wound in the first place?

When that happens it’s called, talking out of both sides of their mouth. It simply means to say different things to different people about the same subject. Betrayal hurts no matter what you call it.

Many things in life hurt and can be difficult to handle, but when a friend throws you under the bus, it’s a pain of a special category. Betrayal brings many negative emotions to the surface of your heart, and it hurts tremendously.

In our text, the psalmist uses some strong language in verse 15 that I’m not sure how to fully process, nor interrupt in a way that makes perfect senses to me. However, it’s real language and shows the depth of the pain he was feeling.

Getting rid of negative emotions can be a battle all by it’s self, and the last thing you need to do is add another battle to the battle that is already raging in your heart. I suggest you take a cue from Jesus himself and walk in the power of extreme forgiveness. I once heard it said that forgiveness means to “let go.” Letting go can be done in spite of your emotions.

Forgiveness is the only way to move beyond betrayal. When a friend betrays you, you can seek revenge and feed your negative emotions if you choose, but it’s only a prison you are building for yourself.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let me say it again. Forgiveness is the only way to move beyond betrayal.

Matthew 18:21-22(ESV)
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

 

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2012 — Leave a comment

To all my readers I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I pray your day is blessed. Thanks for following the blog. Enjoy your day with friends and family.

ChristmasEnjoy a Christmas Message

The Untouchable God Became Touchable

 

 

shy

You are not alone in your walk with Christ if you have difficulty sharing your faith because of shyness. There are many other Christians that get nervous when they even think about witnessing. Do you struggle with sharing your faith because you have no clue as to how to witness in spite of your shyness? If so, I’ve got a few things that will help you.

 

1. Understand that witnessing isn’t always about words.

St. Francis of Assizi once said, “Witness at all times; if necessary use words.” The first thing that will reduce the pressure of shyness in your life is to know that you don’t have to use words to witness. You can use actions, and many times they speak louder than words. You can send letters to nonbelievers in Christ and let them know you are thinking about them. You can get them a gift and take it by their house to let them know how valuable they are. Doing these kind of things will be sure to open up a conversation, and they will end up, most likely,  asking you about your faith. When they do, just tell them what Christ has done in your life. No need at all to give them a bible study. Just share your life, and how Christ has changed it for the better.

2. Witness at home

Witnessing at home is easy because you already feel safe. Live before your family a changed life. Living for Christi in front of your family is the loudest witness you will ever do. Each family member is watching, and learning from you. They, in turn, will hopefully live the same way. That is making disciples without words.

3. Witness on vacation

Next time you are on vacation, witness to those who clean your room. Leave a great tip each day, and a hand written note of encouragement to them. Then sign it with a bible verse. Pray over the note, and let the Spirit of God do the rest.

4. Take advantage of birthdays

Collect as many birthday dates as you can and send them a card or an email. In the same way, you would write a note while on vacation, do something similar with a birthday card or email. To make this step automatic, do a Google search of free sites that remind you by email when a birthday is near.

I could give you many more, but I think you get the idea. What are some ways you have found that work? Leave a comment and share with others.

 

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dontlike

In a perfect world, every person you know would like you. However, this is not a perfect world as of yet. You can be the kindest and most compassionate person in the world, and yet there will be people that just don’t get you. There will be people that just don’t like you at all.

Right now, I bet you can see them with your minds eye. They don’t like you and it is just driving you crazy. It doesn’t occupy all of your thought life, but it pops up from time to time, just enough to keep you just off center in your walk with Christ.

Don’t misunderstand me, there might be a legitimate reason someone doesn’t like you very much. I’ve found in my life when that happens, it’s a excellent time to take an inventory and see if there is any truth there. If I think they are correct in their opinion of me, I take it as a chance to make some changes.

On the other hand, I know that no matter what I do, everyone is not going to like me, and the reality of the matter is, not everyone is going to like you.  The other person may have a low self-image, or they might be just insecure, and something about you just draws out the worst in them. The key is to not allow what they think of you to own you, or control you, or to fill you with questions about your worth.

Deep inside you want them to like you and that okay to want, but when you try to get people to like you; it most often leads to more frustration. You must remind yourself, that you can never please everyone. The focus needs to be taken off trying to please them.

The fact is, when you try and get the other person to like you…you are waste valuable friendship time with those who do like you. I often will find myself thinking way too much about someone who I know doesn’t like me, and when that happens, I’ve learned a little secret. My secret is to stop thinking about them, and start thinking and praying righteous thoughts over a friend that does like me.

Don’t misunderstand. I also pray for those who don’t like me, but I don’t have to purse them to my own detriment.

Allow me to give you a few tips to help you navigate people that don’t like you.

1. Don’t over focus on people that don’t like you (focus on positive relationships in your life)

2. Don’t treat those who don’t like you the same way they treat you (Kind of a Jesus thing)

3. Set a positive boundary in your life (You can only control you-not them)

4. Make a list of what bothers you about the other person (Then throw it away)

5. Forgive them (It’s the greatest thing you can do for you, and for them)

Remember Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

offended_answer_4_xlarge

I’ve learned over the years in ministry that there are four things that will cause more harm to the ministry and me than most anything I’ve come across. These four things are being quickly offended, easily provoked, too sensitive, and slow to recover when I’m offended. Most of all they damage me first, and then they reach out through me and hurt others. So what is the answer to laying these four killers to the side?

1. Self Talk

Most of the time we rush to judgment. We feel offended, so we must have been offended. When this happens to you, try asking yourself some questions to reframe the situation and put it in another light. Questions like, “Did they really mean what they said the way I heard what they said?” or “Is this person truly trying to bring pain into my life on purpose?” (Often, when we already have a wounded spirit, we tend to filter or hear things differently than it was intended.)

2. Change Places

View yourself from their perspective. Sometimes they just might be saying something that is true that you need to hear. The bible tells us that the wounds of a friend are faithful. (Note: at times, an enemy can even speak truth to you) In other words, sometimes truth hurts from friends but it is exactly what you need to hear in order to become a better person.

3. Convictions Verses Emotions

When I get over emotional on a subject I run the danger of being reactive under perceived press and it always ends up setting me below someone else or above someone else. Convictions, however, defines me to others. It neither sets me above or below. Personal boundaries flow better out of conviction than it does emotions.

4. You Don’t Have To Always Be Right

This one is simple. You are not right all the time. Learn this and you will be way ahead of most of the world in maturity. Learn to have the heart desire to only want to know and get to the truth. Perfect soil to grow hurt in is the, It’s-All-About-Me-Being-Right-Soil.

5. Don’t Jump Into The Defense Mode To Quickly

Learn to hear the other person out before you start to make a judgment on what they are trying to say to you. Give them room to say all they need to say. You might be surprised by the way they begin to sum-up what they have been trying to say to you. They may have some positive things near the end of their conversation that bless you.

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lonely-heart

Loneliness is a heavy burden to carry.   Loneliness can be experienced because you have isolated yourself away from people and it can also be experienced among a crowd. Sometimes, the loneliness place to be is in a crowd of people where you feel like you don’t connect with anyone in the room.You find a safe place in the crowded room and say nothing because you feel like you have nothing of importance to share, so you don’t even try. Somewhere deep down you don’t like the person you are, therefore, you falsely believe no one else will like you either.

With that kind of thinking you become very self-critical of yourself and believe the lie that you have nothing to offer of value. When you give into that type of thinking, the downward spiral of depression sets in. You begin to have feelings that you are not worthy or good enough to be anyone’s friend.

Believe it or not, one of the causes of loneliness is not a lack of friends because you may have many. The main cause that produces loneliness is a lack of a true intimate relationships. You need a few intimate relationships in order to share your emotions in a safe place. You need a few intimate friends that will listen and help you overcome loneliness.

But how do you find those type of people? Well, there are lonely people everywhere wanting to be heard. Find someone that needs what you need and give them the gift of listening. You will be amazed at how fast they will become a listener for your hurts.

To conquer loneliness you must get involved with people. You are going to have to put yourself out there more often. You are going to have to spend more time in crowds but not hide away in the crowd like I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

Places To Start Your Healing

  1. Talk to people.  Each time you talk to someone new, a new possible friendship presents itself.
  2. Find a place to volunteer like a soup kitchen or tutoring at a local school.
  3. Join a team sport in your community.
  4. Go to a local hospital and sit in the waiting room. Look for an opportunity to talk with someone waiting on a loved one to come out of surgery.
  5. Important note: Once you meet people in the ways I just mentioned, you must invite them to meet you outside of those events/places. (That’s taking it to the next level)

I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Get back out there and try again.

Remember

Proverbs 18:1
A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

 

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