The Big Chill
Good Morning Bloggy Friends,

Colossians 3:12-13 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (NIV)

This was the verses in my quiet time today and it brought up an interesting situation.

Recently I saw an old friend and it was the first time we've seen one another face to face in more than two years. I was pleased to see my friend and was just about to give her a hug when she took two steps backward and crossed her arms.

Her body language was quite clear and it said to me "Don't even think about hugging me!"
In all honesty friends, I wasn't really surprised at her reaction but I was saddened.
You see, more than five years ago I obeyed the Lord and put some distance in our friendship.
It's been the best thing for each of us (obedience is always best for everyone).

I did my best to carry on a pleasant conversation with her and when the conversation was at a close I did step in and gave her a little hug. Her response was stiff then she turned and walked away.
Now lest you think I was imagining all of this and being overly dramatic my husband was with my at the time and witnessed the whole thing. His first words to me after we had walked away, "Wow! she gave you the big chill didn't she?"

I was reminded of that situation this morning as I read these verses. I did a quick study on the verses and I found some interesting thoughts I'd like to share with you.

There are a number of good questions to ask yourself

Have I fueled this conflict by my own pride, stubbornness or defensiveness?
Have I contributed to this conflict by hurtful words, aggressive tactics, or by twisting what really happened?
Have I refused to give someone the benefit of the doubt and instead concluded that I know what the motives of another really are?
Have I hindered reconciliation by my bitterness, evil thoughts, or stubbornness?
Am I acting like I have no responsibility for the problems that exist?
Am I guilty of resisting God by refusing to extend forgiveness and seek reconciliation?
Am I guilty of perpetuating this conflict by my laziness?
Am I waiting for the other person to make the first move and thus violating Paul's command to do everything that we can do to be reconciled?

In reading over these questions I can't help but ask each one of myself and examine my own heart.

What are your thoughts on "The Big Chill" ?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it OK to forgive but not reconcile?

If you feel that you were obedient to God and stepped away from a unhealthy friendship then is there a need to reconcile?

I obviously have my own "friend-situation" that I am thinking of also and I am very thankful for the friendship that was but really don't feel as if we could ever reconcile, at least not in the near future.

from curious Kim

Blogger Joyful said...

Zoe, you asked a lot of questions! Many I am still pondering and asking God to search my heart. Wondering too, if I've been the one to provide the "freezer burn" to someone else because of my reactions.

When stepping away from a friend is done in obedience to God, then I think we have to trust that God will take care of the effect of our obedience on others. We have to be faithful to what He asks of us, and know that He will look after the ramifications of our obedience.

I know your heart must still hurt though. I just hate it when I sense someone is at odds with me. I want everyone to like me :o)

Praying you'll know that God is pleased with your obedience.

Blogger Joyful said...

Just jumping back here again to say - I loved what Lynn quoted you as saying on her blog!!! Your desire to be a "Q-tip" person. LOVED THAT!!! I think I need to carry around a Q-tip and remember to "quit taking it personally"!!!

Great advice!!!

Blogger Chef Diane said...


I am sorry that you had to put your coat on after that encounter. I admire you boldness to hug her anyway.
I haven't seen my family (parents, brother and sisters) in over 8 years. I am a product of an abusive home and dysfuncting family. I truly believer that I have done all I can to make these relationships ok and forgiven them. I have asked myself many of the questions you gave here. If I were to see any family member on the streets I would proubably react as you did. The one question I ask myself is "Have I done everything I could to make this relationship right before the Lord"? If the answer is yes then I am ok, if it isn't, it is up to only me to get it right with the Lord.
Hope that helped.

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