It's the uncomfortable conversation...
the awkward silence...
the quickened beating of your heart...
your sweaty palms...and for some people,
your neck suddenly feels very hot.
These are the "other sides" of friendship we do not really like to talk about. It could be that you notice something unpleasant in your friend's behavior or your friend has said or done something that offended you--and you want to let them know how you truly feel. On the flip side, your friend wants to talk to you about something serious but has not told you what it is, and you are deeply anxious.
These moments of confrontation are a natural part of relationships that should not be feared or ignored, but embraced.
When a farmer wants to plant a seed deep into the ground, he or she has to prepare the soil. If there's a rock in the way, it is dug up and removed. The fruit he or she will reap one day from that seed is more important than the impediment in the moment.
In the same way, there will be rocks in the soil of our friendship. We are human and we err. So if we stumble upon a difficult moment that requires confrontation, we should not run from it or pretend it is not there. The key is to address it and keep planting love, forgiveness and understanding because the benefits of a beautiful friendship are too profound to throw away (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Author and inspirational speaker Stashane Davis Williamson shares that when we are confronting a friend, we should opt for face-to-face communication, focus less on the event or incident and more on the relationship, and be ready to apologize and forgive--even if the other person chooses not to.
Proverbs 27:6 (NLT) advises that "wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." So even when it is painful and awkward, you can be brave and do it anyways. Think about what you will reap in the future.
For more insight on handling confrontations and facing your own giants, check out Hello Nineveh: A Jonah Journey by Stashane Davis Williamson.
By Kerry-Ann McPherson
Project Manager & Contributor