Managing our friendships

Posted by BWSmith on Wednesday, 18 February 1998, at 3:49 p.m.

(This is still a tough topic for me to write about --but, when did that ever stop me before?)
Allowing a Christian to continue gossiping or complaining is risky. Ignoring our parents' lapses is also risky spiritually, for us and them. Fear of confrontation has kept me from speaking the truth in love until my "feelings" got all balled up and I overact -- which is an uglier exchange than a simple, "let's change the subject_____"

If I had trusted God to speak through me (because He would tell the truth in love) I could have deflated a lot of emotion-laden bags that dumped "garbage" over a wide audience.

Letting someone we love and respect gossip or complain or vent, "sets" the sin and gives it a life of its own that comes back and warts US! Listening to another "rehearse" grievances can make the grievances OURS! But we have no clear way of reconciling. Imagined -- or second-hand --
grievances can be as paiful as real ones.

Practicing respectful reconciliation is hard enough among Christians, and harder still when it is our parents with whom we differ, but if we don't, then we risk developing responses that build walls or harm others.

Accepting criticism from our kids IS hard, too. I know, because my kids can seen the gaps between my walk and talk and holding me accountable.

Growing Up AND older,