Showing Grace in Friendships

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10.

There is a heavy weight pressing down upon us right now. I know that you feel it too. People have become short-tempered. Rather than multiplying love, we are becoming more divided by hate. Name calling, violence in the streets, unrest, and dissension have become terms that we are becoming so accustomed to that many are growing numb to them.

This is not just happening in the world but it is happening among believers as well. Families are being torn apart by opposing positions. Friendships are being lost because we are caught in the tangled web of our feelings. Feelings are taking the seat where truth and reason used to sit. But we are not supposed to be dictated by our feelings. God has called us to something higher and we need to go back, all the way back, to our first Love and to grace. We need to be different because we ARE different.

I recently went through a situation with a friend in which I let my feelings dictate how I responded to the situation I found myself in. I’m really not sure how things spiraled out of control with us. We had a lot in common, she made me laugh, we enjoyed each other’s company, we prayed for each other—I felt very blessed to have her in my life.

My friend is also interested in writing and as my writing ministry began to grow and as God opened more doors for me to be used by him, she began to change. It was little things at first, I didn’t even consider that I was the problem. I assumed she was going through something in her home life or work life that was causing her to be so distant. But the little things became bigger things and we got to a point where she wouldn’t talk to me at all. She would see me at church and walk right past me and not say a word.

I allowed my hurt feelings to take over. I knew that I hadn’t done anything to hurt her or to cause her to treat me with such disdain. This went on for several months until one day in prayer God spoke to me about her and he asked me, “Where is the grace?” I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to show her grace. I was hurt and angry, and grace was the last thing on my mind. But as I began to read scriptures about grace and really understand what God was asking me, I knew that I was going to have to swallow my pride and reach out to her and show her grace, love, and forgiveness.

I contacted her and told her that I loved her and that I was sorry for whatever I had done to her offend her. She was so surprised to hear from me and wanted to meet in person. Over coffee, she revealed that she had allowed jealousy over my success to create a rift between us and that I had done nothing wrong. She told me how impressed she was that I had enough grace to reach out to her when she had treated me so badly. We are not fully healed yet, but we are on the mend and the medicine was grace.

My dear sisters in Christ, I  pray that if you have a friendship in your life that is broken that you will seek the Lord about how he wants you to handle the situation. We have been given grace by God so that we can give it to others. Would you be willing to introduce someone in your life to grace? Jesus covers us in grace, so let’s be that grace to the women in our lives. Shower them with the gift that we are so freely given.

That is how we bring light into this dark world.

Blessings as you pour out God’s grace,

Susie and the Help Club for Moms Team

If you would like to learn more about Susie and her ministry, Between the Gardens, go to her website, susieoneal.org.

Susie O'Neal
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