A Hollow Victory

Bill and Bob had been best friends for years until they discovered their drastic differences concerning a teenager who had taken out Bill’s mailbox with a speedy exit out of his driveway across the street. The neighbor’s offered to pay for Bill’s mailbox and any damage to the yard but Bill wanted to press charges. When Bill expressed his anger to Bob, Bob simply said, “Let it go!” This statement was taken by Bill to be insensitive and one-sided and enraged Bill, to the point Bill and Bob haven’t talked in a few days. Finally Bob went to Bill’s house and told Bill what an immature, spoiled brat he had become, forgetting his own ridiculous teenage years and his actions was dividing the neighborhood. Bill finally dropped all the charges but Bob and Bill are no longer best friends. Bob won the argument but lost a friend – a hollow victory.

Proverbs 6:3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Someone once said, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.” A good friend is hard to find and a new friend doesn’t have the ties of loyalty as the old friend but certainly may offer new perspective. But to win an argument and to lose a friend is a shallow victory and mostly, hollow. We grieve more than we gain.

Certainly a friend is need is a friend indeed but what happens when friends disagree?

Don’t Count Wins and Loses When friends disagree there is no winners and losers – both lose. There are some things in life you will not agree on but there are other things in life too precious to compromise on. If you must stand – stand your ground but give room for your friend to stand nearby.

Maintain Your Respect for Your Friend The minute the disagreement turns into shouting, someone getting mad, hanging up the phone or slander – BOTH have lost the argument. Keep a respect for the friend you have maintained over the years and keep them in high honor.

Understand We May Not Understand No matter what side of the fence you are on realize you may be on the wrong side of the fence. Opinions are just opinions. Keep yourself clear of making a false judgement. Before we judge makes sure ALL the facts are in.

Paint Your Friend in a Good Light Talking against a friend to another friend is called,  friendacide. Life is too short to kill off our friends so easily. No matter what the disagreement or stand down; keep painting your friend in a good light – one day they will recognize what you did for them.

Give Until it Hurts Compromise on non essentials is not a loss but a gain. Bring your friend a gift, speak softly, and show extreme sensitivity and concern for them as a a person. Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Giving makes way for a friend.

Pray Together Nothing will soften our stand against another like praying together. Humble admitting our own faults and failures and reaching for the hand of a friend to bring them into reconciliation. A hug maybe temporary but prayer is eternal – pray together.

Comment: How do you keep your friends when there is a serious disagreement?

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

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