Hope After Hurt in Friendships

{Image credit: ktynzq / 123RF Stock Photo; title: Laurie Wallin}

{Image credit: ktynzq / 123RF Stock Photo; title: Laurie Wallin}

We never expect it when it happens.

  • That terse email.
  • The back-handed compliment.
  • That harsh criticism.
  • The joke for which we’re the punchline.

As I opened the email tonight, it was a punch in the gut that didn’t sting until I re-read the words. Something didn’t sit right about it. Then I realized: the words betray her lack of respect for me.

I felt small. Melted.

Hurt.

Which is nothing new on this broken ball of earth. Others hurt us. And, as Mary DeMuth writes in The Wall Around Your Heart,

“We all contribute to the ripping apart of the community. Other people live in the fallout of our bad treatment of them. We’re all in this heartache together.”

Hurt people hurt people, it’s true. But true doesn’t make it easier to face when hurt happens. {tweet this}

It can, however, invite us to do a few things:

  • Take a deeper look at the friendship that offended us and acknowledge the benefits and challenges it brings to our lives.
  • Look deeper at ourselves, to pinpoint what triggered our hurt and how we might need to grow and heal. For me, that meant confronting her and being open about how the words of that email felt.
  • Think about the kind of friend we are to others, and consider what steps we might take to be more intentionally loving.

Toward that end, I’d love to share with you the recording from my message last weekend at Carmel Mountain Church in San Diego. In it, I share some surprises I found as I studied “philia” (friendship) love in Scripture, and some practical ways we can become the kind of friend we want to have.

Listen to “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” here:  {If you can’t access the audio file on your device, here’s the direct link to the podcast –> click here}.

Gaining these tools to be a better friend may not take the sting away from that email or criticism or joke-gone-wrong. But it can give us hope. Hope for the future of that friendship that’s been hurt. Hope for the ones we’ve yet to discover in our lives. Hope that we can be to someone else the kind of friend we want to have.

Have you been hurt in friendship recently? How are you managing through that?

-Laurie

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