This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Word of Inspiration: Friendships are Blessed Through Private Discretion

“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15) 

This verse is referring to a brother or sister in Christ, not necessarily a sibling by blood, although it can be for both. By the time we're in grade school, we've probably already experienced a betrayal of a friend. For my daughter, it was in third grade when a friend asked to borrow her ring, but then refused to give it back. Half a year later we had to get the teacher involved and it was finally returned. As adults, we expect people to have achieved a certain level of maturity. When they lie, deceive, steal, or betray us, and we thought they were trustworthy, especially long-time friends, the pain can be even deeper and harder to overcome. It makes us question our own discernment and sometimes prohibits us from trusting others. 

The worst thing we can do is to complain about that person to other friends and people who know them and forage into the realm of gossiping and judging them behind their backs. Stewing on it and becoming angry and bitter isn't going to help matters. Confronting them in front of others and embarrassing them will cause further strife. If we subscribe to this verse and approach them about the problem in private, both of you will have a better chance at breaking down the walls of miscommunication and opening the channels of forgiveness. Don't accuse them and have an attitude of confrontation, but chose your words wisely in how you phrase them and be open-minded to hear your friend--and willing to forgive. Good friendships are worth keeping, especially when they have been there for you through the tough times and have forgiven you. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Forgive and move on.