By Liv Dooley
You asked, and I am here to continue our series on friendship. In the last blog, we talked about how your friendship is worth more than a secret, and I’m back to answer a question you asked in a group session. In order to go through this session, you’re going to need a journal or the note section of your phone.
What if you don’t have the confidence to talk to a friend about what you really feel?
Forgive me if I ask this, but is she really a friend if you are having a hard time discussing something that’s really important to you? Maybe she is. After all, there are levels to this. It’s possible that the subject at hand is incredibly sensitive. So let me ask another question. What’s your reason for bringing up the subject? Is it to strengthen her confidence in an area where she’s weak and her self esteem is low? Is it to encourage her to develop greater sensitivity in an area that’s important to you? Is it to inspire her to trust God more intensely? Because that matters too…If it’s just to show her how wrong she is, how mean she is, or how insensitive she is, we have the wrong approach. As Christ followers, we do everything in love with the intention of seeing people become better versions of themselves in ways that lead them back to Him.
Now that we’ve assessed the situation and addressed our intentions, it’s time to think about the friendship more carefully.
One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 10:35. The NIV tells us, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” If we can throw it away, then that means we were given it from the very beginning.
Some of our friends cause us to shrink back and dim our light because they tear away at our confidence.
If you are not feeling confident in the friendship in question, it may be because your friend does not build you up, show gratitude for you, or encourage you to remember you are valuable. Now, she can’t do that for you alone. You have to find your worth, your gratitude, and your value in Jesus, first, because everyone else will fail you at some point. When you do find it in Him, though, your friends are going to add on to that even more. It’s a fact that God uses people to demonstrate His love and bless us even further. If your friend is not demonstrating some of God’s characteristics, that friendship is more than likely tearing away at your confidence.
The verse told us not to throw our confidence away, but the New Living Translation changed it up a little and added a few words to share the context of which the verse was written. “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” Some of us have friendships that are encouraging us and challenging us to throw away our confident trust in the Lord, in His existence, in His love for us, and in His availability to us.
If you’re having a hard time talking to your friend about your faith, inviting them to watch a Bible study online, or even posting a Christian meme because they might see it, you are choosing to throw away your confidence in the Lord for that friend. It’s time to make a change because any friendship that causes you to shy away from acting like the person you enjoy being and sharing what brings you joy is not healthy. Friends don’t always agree, but it is important that we be equally yoked with close friends that we want to do life with.
So how do you find out if they’re tearing at your confidence or if it’s just coming from some insecurity within you?
Try them. Try sharing something important that you question if they will disagree with before you share the more sensitive subject matter. Then pay attention to their response. Do they laugh at you and make you feel small? Do they begin to debate and yell at you about all the things you should think, say, and do differently? Or do they listen, respond kindly, and ask you questions about why it is that you think that? You can tell a lot about whether your friendship is a confidence boost or not by the way your friends respond to you, regardless of if you agree on everything, or not.