Many people miss out on the possibilities of rewarding relationships based on misunderstandings, petty grievances, and holding on to grudges that don’t even belong to them! We have to be watchful when others bring us into their grievances and issues that they have with others . It’s hard alone carrying your own weight from the world, so why add on any dissension brought on by someone else. Please don’t carry the weight of someone’s hate, judgments, or insecurities. As adults we should be able to conduct ourselves in a mature matter in handling conflicts. If in being “loyal” to someone you have to hate, distance, or do anything that is not of the Spirit to maintain a relationship than it’s built on a shaky foundation.
The Sad Truth
I can recall a time in my immaturity, lacking spiritual understanding, self discipline, and wanting to be accepted that I found myself in situations with those who wanted to connect in “friendships ” through subtle dissension. I can remember some friends ( I use the word loosely) that wanted you to prove your “loyalty ” by drawing social lines in the sand by pressuring you to follow them up with whatever made-up petty grievances or issues they had with others. If you dared to be kind or courteous to anyone they had an issue with you were next on the the chopping block. I missed out of some rewarding relationships and misjudged others by perception sometimes. I would later discover that these individuals weren’t as bad in the ways they were made out to be. I would feel guilty, ashamed, and disappointed with myself for being naive. Oftentimes, I would be my usual friendly self anyways which in turn I found myself in the topic of discussion for the next gossip session they had with others. They would later withdraw from me or pressure others who lacked the same in growth of maturity or needing the acceptance to fit in a group to in turn do the same towards me. I have learned that those type of relationships never last, they are superficial. I saw as God worked in my life more he held me more accountable for not following his ways of handling conflicts, in offering forgiveness, and in extending grace.
You Are Who You Hang Around
We are just as guilty as those who are doing the brewing when we participate in sessions of gossip, digging up dirt, venting, and the discrediting of others even if we didn’t say a word. Our character is just as well at fault for not taking a stand. We may be vulnerable when entering a new environment where we don’t know anyone , but be aware of certain personalities that are attracted to us immediately in giving us the 3rd degree on everyone else . Don’t allow others to suck you in with playing the victim or their demonizing of others. Eventually when you don’t follow through with their hang ups they will turn those same issues on to you. This high school mentality in adulthood is not healthy so pray for them, but don’t allow yourself to get sucked in the madness or drama.
The Word Will Be Your Guide
The bible teaches us to go to one another in peace if we have an ought against one another. Yes, there are some major issues where loyalty and trust are to be true in being in a united front for a loved one. However, for minor grievances as adults we can go in prayer to ask God for guidance to work out misunderstandings and perceived notions that cause discontent.Be very watchful of anyone who’s constantly the “victim”, and uses you or others to fight their alleged battles. This is away to use their relationships as a form of manipulation and control. Notice if there’s a pattern. Notice if there’s a high turnover of once close relationships. Everyone isn’t the enemy!Life is to short to live in strife, and there’s no need in harboring bitterness. Loyalty is important, but distorted loyalty built in hatred is poison. Pray for wisdom and discernment in all your relationships. Pray for guidance in handling conflicts and disagreements. Go to your brother or sister to work it out and allow God to restore.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissension and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. Romans 16 :17