Q: A really good friend of mine has been ditching me lately to hang out with some guys. She lets me know whenever she hangs out with them, like she’s trying to make me jealous. She has really hurt my feelings, and I want to confront her about it. My mom thinks I should wait, because she might get upset or jealous. I agree, but I really want to let my friend know how she has hurt me. What do you think I should do?
If your friend is also a Christian, then she’s not only a friend, but also a sister in Christ. One of the ways God teaches us and helps us grow (like overcoming jealousy and recognizing when we’re not loving each other the way we should) is through our brothers and sisters in Christ. So even though you do risk upsetting your friend, I think you owe it to her to be honest. God may use your words to convict her where she needs to change. But before you do any confronting, you need to make sure that your heart is in the right place. Check out what Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5 (this is the New Living Translation):
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
In other words, if you’re going to tell your friend that you think she has a problem with jealousy, you first better make doggone sure that you don’t have a problem with it yourself. If you think she needs to hear that she is putting attention from boys before her girl friends, first spend some time asking God to show you any areas of your life where you don’t have your priorities straight. Make sense?
Before you talk to her, I’d spend a week reading God’s Word and asking Him what needs to be said to your friend (and what doesn’t) and how you should go about saying it. Maybe do a study on jealousy and write down any verses you find that you can share with her in love. Here are a few verses for you to think through before talking to her (these are also from the New Living Translation) :
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. (Proverbs 17:17)
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. (Proverbs 18:19)
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” (Proverbs 26:18-19)
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (Proverbs 27:9)
Never abandon a friend-either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away. (Proverbs 27:10)
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9)
Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out. Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster. A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:14, 19, 27)
Praying you’ll speak with wisdom like a true friend!