Yesterday I introduced to you one of my friends (and yours), the Green Delicious Apple Friend. Actually I have more than one such friend and you probably do, too. These are the friends we love but we don’t necessarily love being with.
Why? Because somewhere along the way, maybe even early on, the “conversation” of your friendship soured. It may have soured with excessive self-talk, constant interruptions, self-pity, bitterness, complaining, bragging or even just plain bad manners. Whatever the souring agent, it was enough to make you pucker up with a little self defensiveness and even avoidance.
But we also discovered that while even Jesus had a Green Delicious Apple among His friends (Judas), He managed to continue to treasure this tart relationship to the bitter end. He treated Judas just as He did all of His other friends– with love and kindness and respect and grace.
If we’re to treat our Green Delicious Friends with the same sort of grace with which Jesus treated Judas, we’ll need to “sweeten the conversation” of those friendships to the best of our ability. Just as you might add a little brown sugar and cinnamon to a half a dozen Green Delicious Apples to make a juicy, sweet pie, you can sweeten the conversation with your Green Delicious Apple friend through gracious words and attitudes.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29-32:
- ask the question
- change the conversation
- raise the bar