READ: Acts 15: 30-41
There can be nothing more deflating or heartbreaking than a lost friendship.
Someone you have trusted, loved, shared memories with, shared history with, grown close with and then all of the sudden boom, the house crumbles and the jagged edges are left poking out all over the place.
Paralyzing even more is how we go from a posture of hand-in-hand with our friends to a quick releasing of our grip over seemingly small stuff. It leaves us begging the question “how would something as silly as this be worth dissolving a relationship over?”
If only our shared love of Jesus was the binding thread that kept this all from happening, but it is often our relationships with our Sisters in Christ where Satan drives the wedge and our sin-nature falls prey even more.
God knew that the building and loss of friendships would be part of life’s narrative. I am so grateful that He gave us the example of Paul and Barnabas to show us how easily we can falter but how He can still redeem two individuals.
These two men were inseparable. They traveled thousands of miles together, broke bread together, proclaimed the gospel together, shared many highs and many lows but in an argument over bringing Barnabas’ cousin along with them, they ended the friendship. Their dissolution literally had them going in opposite directions, Barnabas to the south and Paul to the north.
Can you relate? I know that I can.
The hard part comes in the aftermath. The brokenness, the hurt, the potential gossip or pettiness, the blame and that bitter pill that comes from unresolved hurt met with unforgiveness. We walk away with a limp and the process towards a steady walk can take weeks, months, sometimes years.
The awesome beauty of Jesus is that He never picks sides. He sees the hurt and hearts of both people and longs to interject His grace when we seek Him with our open hands.
Sometimes we are simply square pegs trying to fit into round holes. Other times, we need to be reshaped altogether to become more like Christ in loving those who may have hurt us.When we allow Him, God ushers in alongside two hurt people to renew, reshape and restore. Click To Tweet
We have to be the willing vessel to trust God with all the fractured pieces as we seek Him on our knees.
Barnabas and Paul never reconnected after their fight. They both traveled onward seeking the Kingdom and the Father that ultimately united them both.
Humility in friendships can go a long way in healing. I would love to hope that as Paul and Barnabas traveled on in their ministry that God brought new friendships along the way to not only soften and reshape their hearts but to alter their future conflict management.
We learn through trials and conflict always demands a change. When we allow God to re-wire our hearts through fracture, we can claim His victory even over our deepest hurts.
Father God, thank you for friendships. Thank you that even when I mess things up, you promise to restore my fractured pieces when I seek you first. God reveal to me the ways that I can be a better friend. Reveal to me the ways in which I have hurt someone that I care deeply for. Father, give me the courage to be above reproach and always seek healing first. God thank you that you care so deeply for my human heart as you guide me through this life. In your name I pray, Amen.
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