3 Ways to Nurture a Flourishing Friendship

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Why Do I Need Close Friends?

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As long as we are suited in earthen vessels, conflict is inevitable. Our humanity will not allow us to navigate our friendships flawlessly. Resolving conflict is a viable and necessary skill in order to maintain flourishing friendships.

One helpful attitude in approaching conflict resolution is to keep the perspective that our friend is our sister/brother first. Recognizing each other as children of God first is a great reminder to honor God in the manner we treat each other. We do not want to misrepresent our Heavenly Father by being at odds with each other because of unresolved conflict within the friendship. Instead, when addressing conflict, we want to do so respectfully so that we convey to our friend and God an understanding that no matter what, we are both still a part of the family of God.

Avoiding conflict resolution is a trick of the enemy to undermine our friendship. Our friend is never our enemy. In fact, we have a real enemy who would love nothing more than to tear apart all of our godly friendships and influence us to focus on fault-finding, disagreement, and being judgmental. This is why Jesus told us in John 10:10 (CSB), “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” We cannot allow the devil to kill, steal, and destroy our God-ordained friendships.

Conflict is often characterized as something bad or negative, but it does not have to be this way. We can choose to view it as something good and positive that affords us the opportunity to mature individually as well as grow within our friendships. When conflict resolution is applied correctly, thoughtfully, and purposefully, it can actually strengthen our bonds of friendship with the other person.

All of the key ingredients that make for great relationships – effective communication, active listening, empathy, forgiveness, patience, grace, mercy, humor, and humility – will serve us well in our friendships with others when attempting to resolve conflict. Let us commit to keeping open hearts and minds so that peace can overflow us and flow through us. In this way, our friendship garden will continue to bear great fruit and flourish more and more as the days go by.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia



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