I called James on his lunch break and started tearing up as I shared with him something my friend did that hurt me. James asked if my friend knew it hurt me and I said no. It wasn’t intentional, I know it wasn’t, but it still hurt.
James felt bad and shared his empathy and then asked if I was going to talk to my friend about it. At first, I said no because of my typical desire to run from any sort of confrontation, but then I told him I would think about it.
After getting off the phone with James I decided to take some time and pray about how to handle it. Do I forgive and keep it to myself or do I forgive and talk to my friend about it?
Typically, I would let something bother me but by the end of the day let it go. However, recently, I started to realize that I wasn’t fulling letting it go. Parts of it would stick with me and I knew this because if James were to bring it up and I was to talk about it, I would start getting mad all over again.
I ultimately decided to forgive and keep it to myself – why? Because not every disappointment requires a conversation. Confrontation isn’t merited every time a friend says something that hurts your feelings or does something that bothers you.
Could you imagine if you had a friend that brought up every single time they thought you were out of line or did something that bothered them?
There definitely are times where conversations are needed and should occur and there’s scripture to show you how to handle it. When a certain behavior is repetitive and toxic then it should be addressed. By all means, if a friend has lied to you or stolen from you, have a conversation. If they’re saying or doing something that’s hurting you deeply, mention it to them. Pray before heading into those conversations and always offer forgiveness.
But not everything deserves a conversation. Why? Because your friends, just like you, are people who won’t get it right every time. Your friends will have moments of selfishness, rudeness, and pride. Try to remember your friends will experience the same feelings with you. You will fail and disappoint them while they try and figure out if they should talk to you or not.
What To Do When A Friend Disappoints You: Pray For Them
When the disappointment occurs, pause and pray for your friend. Pray for their success, dreams, family. Spend time lifting them up about all the good that’s in them will remind your heart of it. Thank God for their friendship and the things they have done right will allow your current frustration with them to subside.
Seek wisdom and clarity from God on how to handle it and He will guide you. Don’t pray at them or about them by only focusing on their shortcomings. Pray for them and for the Lord to bless them and their life. Pray for specific things they have going on and pray if there is any way you can be used to bless them.
This list may shock you on how short it is, but praying for your friend and giving your emotions over to Christ is all you need to do.
Clarity will help you realize that sometimes people will do things on purpose and know that it has hurt you, but more often than not your friend has no clue. Them not knowing they hurt you doesn’t make them a bad friend either. You don’t always know what’s going on in someone’s day to know how it determines their responses or actions.
While praying, God will give you feelings of love toward your friend. Why? Because God is never divisive. Don’t pull away or set boundaries out of frustration.
Please hear my heart in this. I’m not saying to ignore everything and to only pray about it. There will be times where you will need to talk to your friend when they’ve hurt you. I’m simply saying when you have a friend who disappoints you to not always go straight to them about it but to pray and seek wisdom on how to address it. Whether that’s just between you and God or you and your friend, praying about it beforehand will save a lot of potential difficulties.
I want to encourage you that when your friend disappoints you, don’t let it sit in your heart and fester and grow into bitterness. And don’t feel the need to bring it up every single time. Offer grace while you go to God to rid the hurt and replace it with love.
After my phone call with James, I prayed about the situation and for my friend. I lifted this person up and thanked God for the friendship they offered. During this prayer, my frustration simmered and the hurt lessened. That evening when James came home from work he asked me about it. By that time I actually had forgotten about it- which is a great sign that I did the right thing by letting it go.
I know you have experienced these moments with a friend. Friendships can have moments of difficulty and messiness, but friendships are also beautiful in the support and community they bring to your life.
Has there been a time where a friend hurt you? How did you respond and what did you learn from it?
Ephesians 4:32 says, ” Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Heather Margiotta is a Christian Wife and Mother who has a love for relationships, adoption, spiritual growth, and helping others through grief. Heather’s life motto is “To love the life you live, by seeing the good between the chaos.” You can find her blog here and her Facebook here.