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Friends

Postby CuriousMind99 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:03 pm

Okay, so i have two friends that I always feel like the third wheel around them and it can really hurt sometimes :oops:. I know that they don't mean to hurt my feelings and they ARE really great friends who are always there for me, but sometimes i just get jealous of how good their friendship together is but i don't want to. And, i don't want to make them feel weird around me if i mention this to them. What are some things that I can do to not feel like this? (biblical references preferred)
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Re: Friends

Postby jimwalton » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:19 pm

I moved this post to its own topic: Friendship. Look there.
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Re: Friends

Postby jimwalton » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:20 pm

This sounds more like a counseling issue. I can’t really counsel you, but I can give you teaching from the Word of God that may be able to help. Hopefully it can and does help, and feel free to write back to me, and we can keep talking about this.

First of all, I can hear the personal hurt in your writing. It sounds like you have some great friends, but the friendship just isn’t all you would like it to be. Between the two of them you see more of what you have in mind, and you’re hurt that they have that between each other, but not as much with you. Am I hearing you right?

Here’s what comes to mind: You can’t really help it that some people connect better than others. It’s one of the realities of life that some people find such good friends (soul mates, even), others just find casual friends, and still others rarely find friends at all. Especially at the soul mate level, there may be nothing to do about it. Personally, I’ve only found that once, and when they moved away, I’m sad to say I really never found that again. It’s a real blessing when you find a person like that. What is very clear is that it’s almost impossible to CREATE a friendship like that. Generally, they happen or they don’t. I wish I could tell you how to wave a magic wand, but we all know it doesn’t work that way.

The Bible does gives us principles about friendship that may be of help to you, though, so let me throw out of few of those, and then a warning.

The book of Proverbs has some worthy principles of friendship. The one I want to point you to first is Prov. 18.24: “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The principle is if you want to have a friend, be a friend. In this case it’s very similar to what Jesus said in Mt. 7.12: Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s an old principle, but one that we need to be reminded about. Be what you want to see.

Secondly, friendship at root is sacrificial (Jn. 15.13). You give the best you have to the one you love the most.

Thirdly, true friendship is fiercely loyal, but not to a fault (Prov. 17.17, as well as all the texts about Davie & Jonathan in 1 Sam. 18-20). We should never be loyal if our friend is doing something wrong, except loyal enough to stop him or her (Prov. 27.6). We are awfully glad when our friends don’t just dump us when we do something stupid or hurtful. Friends figure out how to negotiate, forgive, rebuke with love, and hang in there, even when disagreements rise and hurts are delivered. That trait of loyalty, which is really perseverance and commitment, goes a long way in forming meaningful, long-lasting friendships.

Fourth, everyone has their fair share of lousy days, rotten experiences, hurts and disappointments, and friends help each other when the chips are down. (Prov. 17.17 again). I don’t know about you, but I really appreciate the person who helps me when I’m hurting.

Fifth, and the last thing I’ll say, is that the best friends help each other be better people (Prov. 27.17). Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. You become like the people you hang out with. Choose your friends carefully (Prov. 12.26). Our characters and habits change because of our friends (also whom we date and whom we marry). Help your two friends to be better people, and you are being a true friend.

The last thing I have to say is a word of warning. You have these two great friends, but your frustration is making you jealous, which can easily breed in you a spirit of bitterness and an unhealthy competition that could ruin the whole friendship, but worse, ruin your soul. A wounded spirit can create breakdowns in communication and a sense of alienation. Do you sense the trend here, or do I need to continue? Jealousy easily leads to alienation. Galatians 5.20-21 lets us know the danger of what seems like simple jealousy, and how it can ruin many things. The Bible would teach you to put it aside, not let it take you captive, and instead, be grateful for what you have and fill yourself with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5.22-23). See Galatians 5.24: Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature (such as jealousy) with its passions and desires. Then v. 25: Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Write back to me; we can talk more.
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