I Want to Keep My Friends!

29 Mar

I just had a wonderful conversation with a fantastic Christian friend that I have had the good pleasure of (hopefully) mutually challenging each other in our Christian walk for some time now. As I think back on the years we have known each other, I am so happy that all the little pitfalls that can and do happen in a relationship seem to have avoided us, but unfortunately, I cannot say that we have been unaffected by conflict.

Now, I do believe that conflict can be a good thing, but I also think conflict is only good when it is approached correctly. You see, conflict without real resolution is merely a feeling of angst in a situation that will never benefit the two parties. Unfortunately, in my life, I have had many people over the years where small issues have been ignored and there were small matters of contention for which resolution was never sought.

On the positive side, most of these issues were at the center of relationships that didn’t matter enough to really lose sleep over. As much as it is possible, I look forward with the hopes that even the smallest of contentions can be resolved in a biblical manner. I think merely the realization and desire will help this to become a lesser problem than it could be, but even that may not be enough, as conflict is always lurking around the corner to ruin another small cavern of our lives, so we must always be vigilant in our efforts.

While my church is committed to never forgetting the past, I need to personally make a similar decision. The reality is that there are always things that come up. I was speaking with my niece the other night about the potential for a friendship to be broken up over $40. While I’d like to say I’d never be that petty, without Christ’s redeeming influence on my life, I’d be even more petty. I had a business deal today with a man who potentially will work with me into the future on a regular basis, but due to a small difference of opinion, he was willing to throw it all away.

This is where I can greatly appreciate that being a peacemaker is a very difficult thing. Sometimes this requires us to have uncomfortable conversations with people. To take ownership of your own faults and not look to the faults of others is difficult and not part of the natural man. The only way we can effectively do this is to allow God to continue to work in us. This is my prayer on a daily basis.

The biggest thing I have noticed in my own life is that I need to not glean all my information from outside people. My aforementioned friend and I had the biggest conflict when we were both listening to a mutual “friend,” who would tell us things that made us both think less of one another. The damage took years to undo, but by God’s grace we made it through. The one thing about which I most worry is who are all the people that I wrote off due to talking to someone else, where I could have a wonderful relationship today?

So, as I muddle through my daily life, I am reminded to not accept unwarranted gossip and not get upset over petty things. Most of all, however, I pray that my own nature would be lost in a DNA-reboot as the Lord of all Creation continues to work on me.

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2 Responses to “I Want to Keep My Friends!”

  1. Steve Atwater March 30, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    Nice article.

  2. Jenni September 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Interesting thoughts on being a peacemaker. I liked this.

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