Bible Reading: Luke 6:37-38
Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
Angelica and Renee had been best friends since kindergarten. When their science teacher made them partners on a project, they couldn’t wait to get started. But what began as a gleeful partnership nearly stomped out their friendship. Angelica didn’t like when Renee told her what to do. And since neither girl did well meeting deadlines, they wound up saying things like “You’re lazy!” and “Well, you’re stupid!”
Whenever you know a person really well, conflict is inevitable. You’ve probably had some spats with your friends. Maybe you’re in the middle of one right now. In fact, if you’ve never experienced conflict with your best friend, one of the following is true:
(a) Your best friend exists only in your imagination.
(b) Your best friend is a pen pal and you don’t speak the same language.
(c) One or both of you are aliens.
(d) You and your friend aren’t as close as you think.
When you have a conflict with a friend, you have a choice: resolve the conflict or dissolve the relationship.
Talk about this: What are some ways to work through friendship difficulties?
God has a huge piece of wisdom for solving friendship problems: Realize that what goes around comes around. If you are angry at your friend, your friend will get angry at you in return. If you treat your friend kindly, chances are you will be treated kindly in return.
That means your goal is to treat each other the way you want to be treated (Luke 6:31). And if you need some ideas for doing that, here are three:
• Pick the right words. Think before you speak. Consider your words before you say them and ask if they will help to work out the problem.
• Study your friend’s point of view. See the conflict through your friend’s eyes. Think of how he or she feels instead of how you feel.
• Don’t give up. Friendships aren’t meant to be thrown away. So keep talking. Don’t give up until you have worked things out.
And here’s one more: Forgive. When you forgive like God has forgiven you, you can overcome the biggest friendship conflicts.
TALK: What conflict are you in right now that you need to deal with?
PRAY: God, give us tender hearts and a love for our friends that doesn’t give up.
ACT: Decide on one step you can take to rebuild or strengthen a friendship today.