Weekly Thought – April 1, 2014
Fred lived a long life so he saw the death of many friends. He experienced loss. In his later years a friend cut ties with Fred because he misunderstood a situation. They were never reconciled. Fred suffered this break. Interestingly enough, he dealt with it using the same steps he wrote about 30 years earlier.
Often we hear “Fred’s words hit home this week. They were just what I needed.” It reinforces what Fred always said, “Principles never change – just the illustrations.” It is our privilege to keep Fred’s principle-based thinking available.
When Friendships Die
When friendships die – and they do – life goes on. It should go on in the best way possible. Neither should stagger through life as if they lost a limb. I have found these seven helpful:
1) Admit it, without recrimination. When we are sure a person is dead, we bury the corpse. We go through the stages of grief, and expect to end up as mature individuals. The loss of a friendship prompts a grief response. Placing blame hinders healthy healing.
2) Don’t let the rejection make enemies. Just as we are honored to be chosen as a friend, we are deeply hurt to be rejected. Though it may be natural, we cannot allow the meaner nature make an enemy of our former friend.
3) Keep confidences received during friendship. Your very self-respect depends on this one. Divulging confidences ends in guilt-producing consequences. And frankly, such actions can lead to reprisals. The death of a friendship is bad enough without opening doors for continuing bitterness.
4) Keep memories. Good memories are the dividends paid by friendship. Don’t return the dividends when the friendship ends. We all need to store up as many good memories as possible for our old age. And practically, good memories have a way of offsetting the death of the friendship.
5) Be willing to establish a different relationship with the person. While restoring a friendship that has truly died is impossible, we should be open to other valuable relationships. But, we should never hide from the fact that the first one is gone.
6) Never lose the good of a bad situation. There is no experience which cannot provide some good. In the death of a friendship we can look at ourselves objectively and analyze the reasons, but without dwelling or growing compulsive about it. We should never “throw the baby out with the bath water.”
7) Be grateful. Friendships are rare gifts. Even when they die, we can stop and be thankful they came, if only for a season.
Think about this: 1) What was the hardest friendship to lose? 2) How do I handle the loss of relationship? 3) Who needs to hear Fred’s words?
Words of Wisdom: “Good memories are the dividends paid by friendship.”
Wisdom from the Word: “All my closest friends detest me; and those whom I love have turned against me.” (Job 19:19 NET Bible)