Overcoming hurt in friendships

Overcoming hurt in friendships

I thought we were friends.

It never occurred to me that maybe she didn’t think of me that way. I never expected that she viewed me differently.

We talked often when we saw each other, and made plans to hang out. Even shared our struggles from time to time. I appreciated her and those moments of time spent together.

It felt significant… but now I wasn’t sure. She decided not to invite my child to her child’s birthday party, when everybody else seemed to have been invited.

I felt hurt.

I questioned what I had done wrong, over and over again, in my overthinking.

Feelings of betrayal and bewilderment crept in. I was shocked and felt slighted.

I wanted to lash out in anger by never speaking to her again… but I am a believer in Christ. The way I responded and approached this needed not to be based on my initial hurt and emotions.

I needed to not make any decisions when in this hurt, because it would only bring about more hurt. I needed to go to Jesus and process it with him to know what to do… but it felt so hard.

The question is: how would Jesus call us to respond when hurt by a friend?

If we don’t practice forgiveness and extend it, we can’t love our friends well and move past the hurt.

As followers of Jesus, he refers to us as friends (John 15:15). Thus, as a friend of Jesus, we can confide in him; he will guide us and lead us in the ways to respond. We are not alone and we can find guidance together from him through his word in the bible.

Agape loving others

In John 15:13 (NIV) we read “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 

Jesus befriended everyone with the intention of sharing the Father’s love. 

He did not have expectations on how the friendship should look, but we do. 

Jesus simply put himself boldly out there, selflessly and lovingly. He loved with agape love. 

Agape love: unconditional love. 

He set his life aside to love. He wasn’t thinking about himself, but others. 

Jesus wants us to love our friends with this type of love. Expectations of how we think others should behave can get in the way of this and lead to hurt, though. It did for my circumstance and it can for you too. 

love our friends

You don’t need to accept continuous intentional hurt in friendships, but we can choose to lay down our expectations in our friendships and love with his agape love. 

It’s the love with which he loves us. You can reciprocate it by knowing in your heart that you are loved in this manner by him, too, and that when you ask the Holy Spirit he will help you do it. 

Go to Jesus first when you hurt, and tell him your hurts in prayer; let go of expectations on others in order to just simply love. 

The power of forgiveness

Jesus experienced betrayal and rejection in his ministry. He had friendships on his journey and hurt took place.

Yet, when he went to the cross, he uttered words of forgiveness. 

We read this in Luke 23:34 (NIV): “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” 

He didn’t let the hurt overcome him, or stay with him. He chose to forgive, and so should we

This act shows us that when we are hurt in a friendship, forgiveness is necessary in order to respond as he intends us to: with love. 

If we don’t practice forgiveness and extend it, we can’t love our friends well and move past the hurt. 

You can overcome the hurt feelings when you forgive. 

Don’t stay in your hurt feelings in your friendships; learn to agape love like Jesus by forgiving and accepting that you are loved by him.

Five Bible Verses to Remind you that Jesus is Your Friend

There is no greater friend to have than Jesus. Here are 5 bible verses to remind you that Jesus is always your friend:

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 NIV

Jesus will never leave us no matter what. He is always with us and you can count on him to be by your side through thick and thin.

You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:14 NIV

Jesus calls you friend when you obey him and choose to follow him. His commands give us the abundant life we desire.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:15 NIV

Jesus calls us friend. It’s such an intimate thing. He doesn’t just want us to serve him but he wants to know you personally. He wants a deep personal relationship with you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20b NIV

Jesus is always with you, in it all. He is the most truthworthy and relaible friend.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NIV

Jesus wants you to come to him with all your problems. He always has the best solutions and words of comfort. He can give you rest

Jesus is your best friend!

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  1. Marianne Kane on July 1, 2021 at 3:17 PM

    Such a beautiful tribute towards looking to Jesus when the world around hurts us and others. This was a beautiful reminder to look to Christ instead of our emotions. Thank you for this sweet piece!

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Nikki Evanson

Hi, I'm Nikki

My goal is to help and equip Christian women like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God, to love yourself, and to love others.

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