‘‘When you really listen to another person from their point of view and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.”— Stephen Covey
When I had my fourth child three yrs ago, I felt let down by my very good friend. Several months passed yet my friend had not visited me. I wondered how I offended her. “What did I say to her to make her treat me this way?” I questioned myself. The more I mulled over it, the deeper the pain got. “It was okay for others not to call or visit, but not her.” I reasoned.
Each time I thought about how she had not called or even visited, I would sense a gentle prodding to pray for her instead. After several months of tossing and turning those thoughts, from a place of hurt, I started praying about the issue. Inspired by Matthew 5: 43-46, and I Corinthians 13: 4- 7, when negative thoughts came whistling, I would say things like “ I believed the best of her, I am not easily offended, I love her… “ Before now, we would speak over the phone, but I was too hurt or angry to talk about it. I glossed over what was bothering me.
After I read in Ephesians 4:25, which says “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” I decided to call my friend and ask her why it took her so long to call when I had my baby and why even now getting to a year (at the time) she hadn’t visited. I explained that given how hectic it was with three other kids, the least I expected from her ‘my dear friend’ was to act like she didn’t care.
A little background info here: My friend had not had a child for five years (at the time). I was surprised when my friend explained that she was pregnant some months earlier but miscarried the baby at about the same time I had my baby. It was too painful and traumatic for her to bear; this made her avoid the emotional pain me, my house or baby would remind her of.
In that moment, chills ran down my spine as we spoke over the phone. All the anger and frustration immediately flushed down the drain. How selfish I was! How all I have been thinking was myself, my baby, my friend doing this and that for me; expecting everyone to pause their life because of me. Bemoaningly, I apologized for my selfishness. I thought to myself later that day; she might have been thinking, “Amaka had a set of twins the other time, and now, another baby. When will it be my turn?”
That tough conversation was a turning point in our relationship. Today, that friend is one of the few wise confidants God has decorated my life with.
Talk it out!
Confront people, so you don’t give the devil a foothold.
Leviticus 19:17 says “Do not bear a grudge against others, but settle your differences with them, so that you will not sin because of them.”
- When we are hurt or disappointed by others, it helps to talk about it. You may never know the reason behind their actions.
- The devil wants you to think lies about the other person. He uses lies as a stronghold in your mind
- The Bible says in the last days, the love of many shall wax cold because of multiplied wickedness. (Matthew 24:12)
That’s exactly what’s happening today.
We have closed ourselves from people because of hurt and pain. We all smile but we know deep down in our hearts, there’s no genuine connection.
Someone promised you and failed you?
If you promised — to call, to give money, to do something— and for some unforeseen reason you couldn’t keep your promise, call the person and explain to them. It provides closure for both parties, and you cleanse your own conscience. When we give our word (no matter how trivial) and do not keep it, we harden our conscience over time.
On the other hand, If someone promises you and does not keep his word, you call the person and talk it out as well. It keeps you from conjuring up lies in your head about the person. You may never know what’s happening or has happened in the person’s life. And let’s remember that people forget! Life gets so busy that people just forget.
In all, remember how we sometimes offend ourselves, our spouses, our children and especially God; yet, God forgives us.
We will forgive others to the degree we realize how much we’ve been forgiven.
Every encounter with people is an opportunity to get better or get bitter. We determine which, with our response.
Finally, Pursue peace with everyone Hebrew 12:14 says. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, let’s make it our duty to do the right thing no matter what others think of us.
Be the first to do the right thing. Talk it out!
God bless You.