How to Deal With Hurt From Friends

I am sharing the second grouping of questions that I have from my time at VCS. You can read the last set here. These ones are a little tougher and a little deeper than the previous set. It pains me to know that SO many youth experience hurt from friends, but it does not come as a surprise to me.

Our questions today were a little more difficult to group together because of their wording:

"Sometimes when I have had a close friend, I know that I have been very hurt if they disappoint or disappear. How can you lessen the time it takes to get over those times?"

"I know it's one of the simplest questions, but no one has ever actually been able to answer why friends hurt/harm other friends?"

"Why do people not accept me for who I am? Why is it hard to be friends with brothers and sisters?"

Wooftah. These questions make me sad, but really they can almost all be answered with this simple response:

We are all human.

Humans are a sinful bunch, by nature, everyone makes mistakes, insults, hurts, ignores, looks out only for themselves. It takes a radical friend to really look beyond themselves 90% of the time.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6

It's important to remember in ANY friendship (whether related or not) that your expectations are on a human. A filthy, sinful human (don't visualize that).

The only one that will NEVER fail you or hurt you is Jesus. You can't expect anyone to be like Jesus to the extent of his love and perfection.
I would say that 70% of friendship has to do with expectations. When you lower your expectations of people, you are less likely to be hurt by them.
Don't let this go in the wrong direction though and become bitter about people. Bitterness is expectations that are TOO low. There is a happy medium that you need to find in order to functionally do friendship.

When you lower your expectations, you WILL lessen your "hurt time" when friends hurt you.

Why do friends hurt/harm other friends? 

Because people are selfish. When you are in school, a lot of time the hurt comes from expectations that are too high (there it is again) or because the friend that is doing the hurting is insecure about something. They are looking out for themselves and ignoring or are oblivious to the fact that they are deeply wounding a friend. It's hard to fully answer that question because there isn't just one answer across the board. It varies on the person and the situation, but the basic answer is because humans are selfish.

How can you avoid being hurt like this? By being understanding. By knowing, it is not you, it is a problem with the other person. You can rest secure that Jesus is your defender, your lover, and your never-leaving friend. Pray for that friend, pray that they would find happiness and security wherever it is that they are looking and maybe pray that you can find ways to minister to them.

Why do people not accept me for who I am?

Oh sweet child, I am so sorry, but this one I do not have a great answer for. The only thing I can tell you is it's because people are people and again, they are selfish.

Rest knowing that you are who you are because you were created that way and that is nothing to be disappointed in or ashamed of!!!
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14

If people are no accepting you then they are missing out on the amazing creation that God knit together when he made you.

Why is it hard to be friends with brothers and sisters?

To be perfectly honest, I can't relate very well to this question - I grew up with one brother and although we had difficult times now and then, overall I've always considered our relationship fairly solid. We don't spend a lot of time together or talk very much as adults (although I would love to do a regular date with him to foster our relationship) we have always been fairly close.

My suggestion is that brothers and sisters are ALWAYS around. Sometimes, it's easier to fight with the person that is always around than get along with them.

Learn to appreciate them, love them, even if they are mean to you. It's good practice and it will definitely affect them to know that you love them regardless of how they treat you. Jesus will be pleased too.

I hope I helped with these questions. Hurt by friends (or siblings) is so difficult, but remembering the Truths of Jesus helps so much and fights against bitterness and deep scars.

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