When to Tell a Friend How they Hurt You

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

Oh, how careful we must be when reacting to hurt. Quick to listen, and slow to speak. The most important thing we can do is choose to wait on our words and prayerfully seek God’s guidance.“This section of the letter,” the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible explains of James 1:19-20 (above), “focuses on the power of God’s Word and the need for believers to respond to it in obedience.” The human anger James is speaking of is unchecked emotion. Righteous anger, taking a stand against injustice, has a place in God’s Kingdom.

When we scroll through social media or click through different newsreels, we rarely witness quick listening and slow speaking. Passive aggressiveness is posted for all to wonder if it applies to them, and the entitlement to speak our truth holds little regard for who it’s actually hurting. If someone disagrees with an agenda, they are ghosted. Before telling a friend they have hurt us, filter what happened through the following steps.

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How to Love People You Struggle to Like

Think about someone you struggle to like. I bet it doesn’t take long for someone to float to the surface of your mind. This could be a neighbor, colleague, family member – anyone whose personality might not mesh so well with ours, or whose history is a messy tangled in our own.

We know what God’s word says – we’re to strive to love all, not just like the people we don’t prefer to be around… God calls us to the radical way of love. But what does that look like, to love those whose company we find grating, whose personality we don’t mess well with? 

Here are 5 very practical, simple ways to begin to love the people you struggle to like: 

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10 Unhealthy Types of Friends and How to Set Boundaries with Each

“I just can’t wait to be friends with everyone!” My friend, more reserved than my hyperactive, people loving self, laughed as if I’d lost my mind. The infamous mantra sticks nearly two decades later. When we seek God’s standard for friendship, and follow Jesus’ example, the Holy Spirit will help us spread the love of Jesus.

But what about unhealthy friendships? What is God’s standard for our friendship with those who drain our energy, deplete our resources and leave us feeling stressed and frustrated? God’s Word speaks truth into all of our relationships, and there is wisdom to be found for how to deal with that friendship that isn’t quite as healthy as it could be.

Here are 10 potentially unhealthy types friends, and how to love them within the good boundaries God has given us. 

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How to Teach Kids to Pray for Their Friends

Being a kid can feel pretty helpless, but learning how to unlock a conversation with God is like discovering a secret superpower. Suddenly, the people placed around them will mean a little bit more. And turning them outward by teaching them to pray for their friends allows them to experience God’s love. 

We can teach our children to pray for their friends using the acronym LET’S PRAY. 

L – Love

“A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17)

When children understand how much God loves them, their light begins to shine into the cracks of other’s lives. And the foundation of a good friendship is love. When children are just learning to pray for their friends, keep it simple:

“Dear God, thank you for my friends. Help me to love them like You love me. Amen.”

E – Encourage Forgiveness

“Mom,” my daughter cried from the backseat, “I had a really hard day at school…” and off she went about how someone made her get in trouble and someone else was snotty to her and then someone who was “supposed” to be a friend didn’t really act like one that day. 

Friendship can be an emotional battlefield, and learning to forgive quickly is vital. Injustice is a part of existence, and it’s not a new trend or a surprise to God. “In this world you will have trouble,” He promised, but He sent Jesus to show us the perfect example of how to react:

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4 Signs You’re in an Unhealthy Friendship

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

Friendship is often seen at face value, much like this popular verse. On the surface, a friendship may look peaceful and perfect, promised to go the way it’s supposed to go, without a hitch or hiccup. We need our tribe to support us. This is often where we get it wrong. Friendships falter when we loft them above our relationship with Christ.

The entirety of Proverbs 17:17 reads, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” The definition of adversity is littered with words like “unfavorable, misfortune, clarity, distress, and unfortunate.” Adversity is a circumstance or condition. Proverbs 17:17 is speaking of a life altering, life changing, season. We are promised to many marking moments on earth, and not every friend will be active in every season. When we live life scrambling to find friends to mend the broken and shifting pieces, we fall out of alignment, and it can damage our friendships. Here are four signs of unhealthy friendship.

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