It is one of the most special gifts to have a godly friend; but when that friendship turns sour with strife, when all you’d rather do is give grace, how do you solve the situation you find yourself in?
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (James 1:1)
For the most part, I have had many precious friends through the years and seldom was involved in a friendship filled with strife and fighting. Occasionally it has happened and is very unsettling.
You are my precious friend! I am so blessed!
BUT how do you solve a friendship that has turned sour with strife, causing it to be uncomfortable to be around this friend?
There are likely times that will happen and I just thought you would need some encouragement for those moments when you will find yourself in the same room with this ‘friend.’
It Happened to Me
Many years ago my son and his little friend, chased each other into the house each with a fist-full of dirt. As my precious friend and I sat drinking tea, dirt came flying into my house!!
She was mortified.
It became a moment of intensity as we tried to get to the bottom of the situation. It got way out of control.
As the years flew by (they do fly, you know) that friendship drifted apart and other precious friends came and went in my life. Moving tends to do that for you!!
Time brings experiences, as occasionally, I have met women who cannot seem to get along with their friends without strife.
The Solving Part
. . . yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 1:2b)
Prayer is the first thing to do when a friendship goes sour on you. Ask because the whole reason that the situation may not be working out so well is because you aren’t asking God for wisdom or to work the situation out.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 1:3)
We turn to God and pray wonderfully worded prayers filled with the right format of praise and supplication.
Why do our prayers not get answered?
This verse gives the reason!
Amiss means to be out of the right or proper order, off-course, doing something improperly. You get the picture.
In other words, if you are not living in obedience but are living in disobedience to God, you are asking amiss and your prayers will not be answered.
That is pretty serious!!
Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: (Jeremiah 11:8a)
They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: (Jeremiah 11:10a)
There are some key reasons that our prayers do not get answered. God loves to see reconciliation between friends.
- We are not living in obedience.
- We are walking our way not God’s way (imagination of our evil heart).
- We have turned back to the iniquities of our parents or grandparents.
- We are refusing to hear God’s Words.
You might think you are living a godly lifestyle but I want you to think about this for a moment with me. I am going to search my heart also.
Yes, I have removed things in our home and life that were not pleasing to God. Look deeper than that with me.
Standards will NOT cut it. So if you are putting on a certain kind of clothing and thinking subconsciously that you are doing fine, I want you to think deeper than your outward appearance.
Are you watching things on TV or the internet that would not be pleasing to God? Is there immorality? Cursing coming into your home (and you got used to it?), is there something that God is speaking to your heart that you need to deal with?
God is a holy God and He wants more than anything, our total undivided devotion to Him.
I love you, my sweet reader, and I would LOVE to see you think through some of the issues that I have been dealing with over the years.
Most of all, do you LOVE God with ALL of your heart?
You see, when we are taken up with the immorality coming into our homes via the internet or television, we become desensitized to what pleases God.
Then we go to church and raise our hands and sing, thinking that we are worshiping Him in Spirit and truth. We may need to first get things straightened out in our life!
Our spirit can be totally wrong. I had to come to the point where I saw that in myself.
Getting to the Grace Part
I hope you are still with me because I sure didn’t mean to scare you off!!
I had to come to the point in my life where I saw myself as totally wicked. Yes, wicked.
I am NOT going to get real and let you in on how real I was living. That would keep you from plugging in your own sin into the equation!!
BUT GOD GAVE ME GRACE!
Look at this verse! How precious!
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 1:6)
Here are just some of the things from the verses that follow. Open up to James 4:1-12 and you will find other things that God is saying to you. The list that follows will just get you started.
How To Solve Strife with a Friend
These are the things that will help you give grace to the friend who is causing strife in your life.
I cannot absolutely say that the situation with your friend will be solved, but this will be a grace-filled way of responding to her:
- God will give you more grace
- God resists the proud
- God gives grace to the humble
- Submit yourself to God
- Resist the devil (and he will flee from you!)
- Draw near to God
- He will draw near to you
- Clean up your hands (you sinners)
- Purify your hearts (you double minded)
- Humble yourselves (in the sight of God)
- He shall lift you up (when you humble yourself before Him)
- Speak no evil of anyone
Back to my story about my precious friend and our sons.
We spent hours on the phone trying to solve the situation to no avail.
About ten years later we re-connected and what blossomed was beauty and growth in our friendship that could come only from God.
The years have passed and our paths through life have gone different directions. One thing remains, our friendship remains precious even though we have not seen each other in years and years.
You might be struggling with a situation with a friend right now.
I am hoping and praying for you that the Lord will work His miracle in your life so that you can speak grace to your friend.
Did this study speak to your heart and life? Share with me in the comments and I will add you to a prayer list for my blog.
Don’t know how to do this study? Go HERE: To learn how to Do the Faith-Study of James.
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Missed previous posts on the book of James? Go HERE!!