Elephant-Hunting in 2013.

 

When an elephant is in the room, hunt him down … but be careful and be prayerful.

We have all experienced those times in discussions with our friends over coffee or over the phone where the “elephant” shows up … haven’t we? Or it may be right in the middle of a staff or team meeting at work or at church, when all of a sudden there he is – that crazy “elephant.” He’s baaaack!

The “elephants” in the room are the issues of truth that arise in and around our lives and relationships that we tend to avoid. Of course, the main reason we avoid them is to simply avoid potential conflict. “Elephants” can show up just about anywhere or anytime, and they eventually show up in every friendship or relationship. You can count on it.

“Elephants” show up when …

…people disagree with us.

…we disagree with them.

…a “friend” cuts us off mid-sentence over and over again.

…a friend close makes a promise they don’t keep (for the first time or hundredth).

“Elephants” show up among friends and families, at home and at work. They put our friendships to the test. However, most people choose to simply ignore the “elephants.” But, ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. In fact, “elephants” love nothing more than to be ignored. Ignore them and hey just get bigger and bigger eventually squeezing the oxygen right out of the friendship.

“Elephants” will undermine (if not kill) growing friendships, if we let them. Allowing “elephants” to roam freely keeps friendships from getting to the next level. We’ll talk more tomorrow about how to hunt them down. For now, an important key to effective friendships is remembering the two things that Jesus was filled with in his earthly life and his friendships – “grace” and “truth.” It is clear that he balanced his relationships with both of these ingredients.

 

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

 

Jesus gave people grace. In other words, he was loving and compassionate, always considering the needs and interests of those around him. He was quick to forgive and slow to anger, and consistently so.

Jesus also told people the truth. But his truth-telling was never a condemning exercise but an expression of his sincere love (John 10:10).

‘Run into any “elephants” lately?

hen an elephant is in the room, hunt him down … but be careful and be prayerful.

We have all experienced those times in discussions with our friends over coffee or over the phone where the “elephant” shows up … haven’t we? Or it may be right in the middle of a staff or team meeting at work or at church, when all of a sudden there he is – that crazy “elephant.” He’s baaaack!

The “elephants” in the room are the issues of truth that arise in and around our lives and relationships that we tend to avoid. Of course, the main reason we avoid them is to simply avoid potential conflict. “Elephants” can show up just about anywhere or anytime, and they eventually show up in every friendship or relationship. You can count on it.

“Elephants” show up when …

…people disagree with us.

…we disagree with them.

…a “friend” cuts us off mid-sentence over and over again.

…a friend close makes a promise they don’t keep (for the first time or hundredth).

“Elephants” show up among friends and families, at home and at work. They put our friendships to the test. However, most people choose to simply ignore the “elephants.” But, ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. In fact, “elephants” love nothing more than to be ignored. Ignore them and hey just get bigger and bigger eventually squeezing the oxygen right out of the friendship.

“Elephants” will undermine (if not kill) growing friendships, if we let them. Allowing “elephants” to roam freely keeps friendships from getting to the next level. We’ll talk more tomorrow about how to hunt them down. For now, an important key to effective friendships is remembering the two things that Jesus was filled with in his earthly life and his friendships – “grace” and “truth.” It is clear that he balanced his relationships with both of these ingredients.

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)

Jesus gave people grace. In other words, he was loving and compassionate, always considering the needs and interests of those around him. He was quick to forgive and slow to anger, and consistently so.

Jesus also told people the truth. But his truth-telling was never a condemning exercise but an expression of his sincere love (John 10:10).

‘Run into any “elephants” lately?

“A truly good friend will openly correct you.

You can trust a friend who corrects you,

but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.”

Proverbs 27:5-6 CEV

 

“Even the best of friends face conflicts,

but that needn’t mean the end of the relationship.”

Reader’s Digest

 

 


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