Sir Godfrey Gregg
So, what if your friendship has been strained? What if what used to be a cherished friendship is now damaged? Here are two suggestions from Solomon,
Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.
Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
In other words, stop trying to “fix things”. (There is where many of us go wrong trying to fix things that are broken. Many times it is the heart that is broken or the spirit of your friend). Entrust the problem to the Lord. That means extending forgiveness, releasing bitterness, and seeking reconciliation. I know it doesn’t seem “fair” but God knows “fair” better than anyone. He sees motives as well as actions. Let the past be the past. Let it go. Reestablish your relationship with your friend. If you wait until your friend comes to you, you may lose your friend forever. I know what you are thinking: If my friend really cared they would make things right with me; they would call; they would try to fix the relationship. Is it possible that your friend is thinking the exact same thing about you?
Second, Proverbs 28:13 says, He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
This is the hardest thing of all. We are told to admit our part in the problem. We are to apologize for what we know we have done wrong!
No one likes to apologize. Sometimes we would rather let a relationship disintegrate than have to humble ourselves and admit wrong. We would rather justify our behaviour than admit we were wrong. We are much better at excuses than apologies. But we can’t make a relationship right until we acknowledge our contribution to the pain that caused the strain in the relationship. Now, that is the hard part that we do not want to admit or accept. We caused pain to our friend as well as they caused pain to you. Let’s see who is the bigger man or woman in this friendship? Let us see who is willing to make the first move to apologize and save the friendship. Hallelujah
So, what if the other person doesn’t apologize for what they did? Let me answer that simply: you are responsible before God for what YOU do. It is not the other way before and it is the same now. Be a man or woman and make that bold step. If you do what is right YOU will receive mercy. God is honoured when we do what is right before Him.
Friendships are precious and must be cared for. There is so much hurt in the world. The best way to maintain a friendship is by showing love. It is the love of Christ that brings a change in a relationship and in life. Harshness, taking a stand, and not backing down, only bring hardness. If we want good friendships we need to be soft rather than hard. Being apologetic does not make you less a man or a woman. I believe that it strengthens the person that makes the first move and you will earn the respect of others.