Friendship is not a relationship separate from other relationships. Friendship is the height or pinnacle of other relationships. Thus, a child or parent can become a friend. A spouse can become a friend. A neighbor or coworker can become a friend.
But with this closeness comes a particular ability-the ability to hurt you more quickly and easily than others. Just check out social forums and websites and you’ll quickly realize that it is those closest to us that hurt us the most.
For a true friend, hurting you will come in two categories:
1. The unintentional or the thoughtless wound.
2. The intentional and purposeful wound.
Too many times we allow the unintentional and thoughtless wound to affect us with more than we should. People say things that hurt us without intending to. People do things that hurt us thoughtlessly. We take these injuries and nurse them, bearing an emotional or mental grudge. But since the injury was thoughtless or unintentional, the other person may be unaware of your pain. As a result, you may see them as callous and cold. Many friendships end up in disaster over this.
Good communication will solve most of these issues. If you will be open and talk about the injury or pain, the other person, if they are a true friend, will help you to heal.
But don’t let a thoughtless or unintentional wound consume you. Don’t make it into a cancer that will poison your entire relationship.
The other type of wound is the intentional and purposeful one. This is where a friend will hurt you in an effort to help you in some manner. If you have a friend like this, count your blessings.
The Bible says:
Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
A friend is faithful to you at times when they have to hurt you. A true friend won’t agree with you in all your decisions. Sometimes, we think a friend ought to support us in everything. But if what you want to do is just flat out stupid, a friend won’t support it! Thank God that there is someone in your life willing to hurt you in your own best interests.
Even if you disagree, you need to realize that having such a friend is a valuable asset. You never want to let go of someone like that! Most people expect a friend to be on their side in every situation. This is just not true. When our side is wrong, when our side is misguided, we need someone who will point out the mistakes and fallacies in our choices, our decisions, and our thinking.
I dare say, if everyone around you has always supported every decision you made, you are either wise beyond imagination, or you’ve blundered from one disaster to another. I thank God for the friends in my life that have stood in my way when I was headed towards disaster. Thank God for the friends who have hurt me.