The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
What do you do when a friend fails?
Boy, if there ever was an occasion for the Golden Rule, this is it. When someone we care about messes up, we can find ourselves shying away from him, usually because we don’t know what to say, we can’t fix things, or we lack the energy to engage what it might take to help. But, the right response isn’t distance…it’s love.
The Bible tells us that love covers a multitude of sins. That verse isn’t implying that love somehow looks the other way, denies the failure, or covers it up. No, love soothes the hurt of failure and washes away its great potential for additional destruction. Love makes recovery a much greater possibility.
So, if you failed, what would you want a good friend to do?
First, you probably wouldn’t want that friend to act like a know-it-all and brow beat you with all the reasons you acted foolishly. Being hit while your down is what causes the deepest internal injuries.
Second, you probably would want a friend to listen. No, you don’t need to excuse your behavior or try to blame someone else, but you need someone who can listen as you pour out your frustration with yourself, without having your depressed thoughts corrected.
Third, you need a friend who will listen to your repentance. Failure brings a boatload of emotional anguish. A friend who can listen as you spew your hurt and regret almost feels like “Jesus with skin on” to hear your confession and desire to restore what you’ve broken.
Fourth, you’d want a friend to help you think of steps you should take to heal the hurt and increase your accountability. A friend that can contribute to your plan for recovery and support you in that effort would be quite a treasure.
Finally, you need a friend to believe in you. Such friends don’t make light of the failure, but they believe that better days are both possible and within reach. In failure, depression is a common friend, so you need a friend who can speak into your doubts and build your confidence that a new road is really possible.
Sometimes a friend’s failure hurts us too, but you need to decide if you will be among the accusers or the friend that helps find the healthy road forward. Accusing is easy, but forgiveness means you open the door for the offender to find a better path.
If you fail, that’s the kind of friend you need…so be one to your friend when he fails.