Fire is cool! Until it invades our personal life. Yes, there will be difficult, sometimes painful times. These moments of eruption put friendship to the test. This trial by fire will often reveal who your true friends are. Some people are only in it for the fun, laughter and good times. When things get too real, or difficult, they are nowhere to be found. Pay attention to the ones who are there during hard times. These are your true friends.
This is also a great time to evaluate how you treat people when they are hurting, or going through a hard time. Do you offer them support? Do you listen to them? Do you pray for them? Are you a friend who is only there for fun or are you a real friend?
SHIP SINKER #9: Equipment Failure
Sometimes in life things break down. Unfortunately, in relationships the number one thing that breaks down is communication. When people don’t communicate well, conflict erupts or is never dealt with and relationships crash and burn. We have to learn how to communicate clearly and consistently. Clearly because often what we hear is not what they are trying to say. Consistently because we are quick to get offended and want to bail out. Often in our anger, we just want to avoid the other person.
We should be quick to listen and slow to get angry! This means setting aside our own ideas and preferences for the moment and genuinely listening to the other person, seeking to understand what they are saying. Hopefully, they will do the same for you. Good communication takes work, but I can assure you it is always worth the effort and will save many of your relationships.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- What kind of friend are you? When someone is going through a tough time, do you support them or keep your distance?
- What are some ways miscommunication happens in friendships?
- How are you as a listener? Do you take the time to really hear what they say without getting offended?
PRAY: Father, I know there will be hard moments in life, please bring true friends into my life and help me to be that friend for someone else. Teach me to really listen to people and to communicate well with my friends and family.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT) For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Proverbs 17:17 (MSG) Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 (NLT) I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. 8 This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
James 4:11 (TPT) Dear friends, as part of God’s family, never speak against another family member, for when you slander a brother or sister you violate God’s law of love. And your duty is not to make yourself a judge of the law of love by saying that it doesn’t apply to you, but your duty is to obey it!
James 1:19 (NLT) Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
1 Peter 5:8-11 (TPT) Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. 9 Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure. 10 And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up. 11 And he has all the power needed to do this—forever! Amen.