September 26

Written by Bill Grandi on September 26th, 2023

You have probably heard the joke about 2 friends who were hunting in the woods when they saw a large, mean grizzly bear begin to approach them. One of the men turned to take off running and the other said, “You don’t think you are going to outrun that grizzly do you?” He said, “I don’t have to. I just have to outrun you.”

What a great friend! (I will now remove my firmly implanted tongue in my cheek).

I suspect we have all had friends like that. We call them “fair weather” friends, for that is truly what they are. They are with you until it gets sticky or too hot in the kitchen. Tragically, I have read and know of friendships that fell apart with an accusation, a word behind the back, a betrayal, or simply a lack of trust.

Here are a few questions to consider: When someone says something about a friend, what is your reaction? Do you defend your friend? Do you allow yourself to be swayed, to have some doubt? Do you betray your friend by piling on the accusations or simply by saying nothing at all? I remember many years ago defending a friend (Person A) against accusations made by a coworker (Person B).  For the record, we did not work in the same place. It strained the friendship with Person B. Then years later I found out what he said was true. The other man’s (Person A) wife left him; he lost his family; he lost his ministry; and a lot of people were hurt by his duplicity. I apologized for my defense and the breach in our friendship to Person B when I heard the truth.

I honestly did what a friend should do. I heard the accusations from others. I went to the accused and was told they were all lies. I then defended the friend. But sometimes friendship is sticky, especially when you feel like you are in the middle. This time was like that. I don’t regret defending a friend. What I did regret is straining another friendship, only to find out what was being said was true.

Friendship takes work. Friendships are hard. Jesus once said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down His life for a friend.”

Be a friend, even when it gets sticky. I’d rather be loyal to a friend and maybe find out later that trust was misplaced, than walk out on a friend and find out my trust was really needed and the accusations were false.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Friendship can be so challenging, Bill, but we need to trust first and foremost, even when things later come apart. Lord, let me be a loyal and loving friend to others.

  2. gail says:

    Good point Bill. James 3 warns us about controlling the tongue. Once something is said it’s out there, and sometimes all the sorry’s in the world cannot repair the damage done. I also think we need our ears to be alert, at the first sign of gossip, or hurtful remarks, we should say, I do not need to hear that, nor do I want to. Friendships are true blessings and we need to honor those and love those as we have been taught by Jesus.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think you bring up a good key Gail: have ears that are alert to “stuff.” We should not want to hear gossip or hurtful remarks.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Your last paragraph says it all…
    “Be a friend, even when it gets sticky”

    Bottom line, we are all imperfect people, living in an imperfect world. There will come times when we fail… even as friends. Real friendship is being able to look beyond flaws and blemishes.

    Perhaps my defense is not needed, but simply a “nobody is perfect, but they are still my friend… so can we change the conversation?”

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Sometimes, and I think you will agree Ryan, but silence is often taken as an agreement with what has been said. I’m glad you speak up in such a powerful way. I would want you on my side my friend.

  4. Betty Draper says:

    Hello Bill, hope this finds you and the family doing well. I am like you in the fact I would rather be loyal to a friend and maybe find out later it was misplaced. Since we have moved so much I have had to establish friends over and over. I remember when we got to Papua New Guinea one of the wives in leadership latched onto me and begin speaking negative things about another women whose husband was in leadership. Since I went through the same thing in Bolivia I knew to wait out and let God sort it out. I am still friends with both of them and one still is negative and the other never says anything bad about anyone. Since I am such a people person I have wait and trust is my go too in the friends issue. Nothing new under the sun. Blessings brother.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Hi Betty! It is so good to hear from you! I have seen the issues you have been having with your health and feel for you. Don’t you just love old age? 🙂 Anyway, you share some wise counsel here. Wait and see and trust. The truth will eventually come out. And I’m willing to bet the one who is negative has very few friends while the one with the quiet, gentle spirit has tons. Blessings to you and Ace.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I agree wholeheartedly, Pastor Bill. I would much rather err on the side of defending my friend only to find out later that I was misled than to betray a friend. Loyalty means a lot to me.