Above Drama with Friends
“…But she really hurt my feelings, Mom!” Parents never enjoy hearing those words from a child. Randi Beth shows us how we can point our children in a direction higher than their current drama. Tough, but so good!
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
I have a Bible Study I lead every week with a group of 8th grade girls. We meet every Tuesday night in my living room to talk about life through the lens of Scriptures. These evenings have become one of my most treasured nights of the week and are full of rich conversation and lots of giggles. Often right alongside the laughter are the harder realities of life – the lost soccer game, the hard test, the fight with a sibling, hurt feelings, and conflict with friends or classmates.
It’s hard to watch these girls endure heart-ache. All too often these trials circulate around hurt feelings in friendships.
When I study scripture, it’s clear God is about relationships – relationship with Him and relationship with others. It’s also clear when sin entered the world, something within us broke… making relationships hard. God redeemed relationship through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As believers, through the grace of Jesus, we can navigate relationships within our lives to bring glory to God.
Here are three pieces of advice I give my girls when they’re in the midst of conflict.
- Pray for His perspective. Our rational brain and our emotional hearts don’t always line up. We can get caught up in the emotion or we can ask Jesus for a better perspective. James 1:19-20 talks about being slow to speak and slow to become angry. When we take time to allow our emotions and perspective to be a product of time spent with the Lord, we are able to see the situation before us more clearly.
- Fight those hurt feelings with Truth. Remember Whose you are. In the midst of conflict, we can let emotions and hurt feelings cloud our thoughts and understanding of who we are. The only way to combat these lies is to fight them with Truth. We find that Truth in Scripture. Armed with a correct understanding of who God is and who we are created to be, we can deal with the hurts that come through conflict.
- Respond with Kindness and Compassion Take a look at the featured verse above. We can’t force anyone to alter the way they treat others. Only God can change the heart. We can, however, choose how we respond. Kindness and compassion go a long way. It was shown to us by Jesus first, even when we didn’t deserve it. We model the restoration we’ve experienced in our relationship with God by showing that same kindness and compassion to others. While doing so, we choose to trust God and His purpose in the conflict and even in the pain.
Are you experiencing conflict with a friend? What are ways you can treat this person with kindness and compassion, showing them the same grace Jesus has shown you? Talk with your mom and dad about the situation, and ask them to pray with you for understanding from the Lord.