#cultivatecourageous,  #write31days,  Mercy,  relationships

Have I offended you?

What is at the finish line and is that really where you want to go? –  Emily P. Freeman

Getting dissed is a phrase that’s found its way so confidently into the vernacular that my phone’s voice text feature doesn’t even autocorrect it. What it’s derived from is barely relevant because it has its own meaning now, but from what I can tell, it’s slang for disrespect.  Bottom line – it hurts.

A dis is a mild slight, at least in my world it is.  When I do get dissed, I usually become aware of a swelling lump in my throat.  Sometimes the dis is so well-frosted that if a friend does malign me, I kind of miss it until I’m driving away.

It’s then that I notice the slicing effect of an emotional paper-cut.

Then there are those days when I’m amped up by other issues, she gets on my last nerve, and I take stupid things personally.  I’m sure that never happens to you.

It smarts when a friend overlooks us or casts us aside. Women, we do this to each other all the time, and pretend that we have no idea what you’re talking about.

I am in the act of ironing out a wrinkle in an important friendship, so I know whereof I speak.  “Have I offended you?” has broken the ice.  Ice that both of us want to stomp all over, because we don’t want to exist misunderstood by each other.


Listen, I hate conflict.  H a t e it.  And this is what I have learned about long strong friendships; they are forged and imbued with a confident core when we dare to be prepared to apologize.  Because that is what this question, “Have I offended you?” will trigger.  It presupposes I may very well have wronged you.  Blindly or selfishly.  That is totally possible.  It’s foolish to imagine that it isn’t, and I want to know if I did so I can apologize.

“Did I do something wrong?” actually doesn’t work as well for me because there is a built-in defensiveness to it.  It does not do to my heart what must be done for me to be open to get schooled.

This is where I have rushed before.  I’m learning to take the time I need when there’s conflict to work out my expectations.  Do I really want reconciliation or do I just want to be right?

Sorry.  It’s hard.

I would love to tell you a story about how I got dissed and the whole thing worked out swimmingly – I have one ready, fresh off the happy ending.  All I can honestly say is thank God I have been able to pray for wisdom.  He hands it out like candy.

If you’re ready to go there, I have some advice.  It comes slightly used, but it’s free.  Before you make the call or text it out, pray – and I mean pray – for some wisdom.  Don’t phone it in.

That might look like this.

Godspeed, friend.

2Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.img_0272

God, give me the kind of hearing that perceives wisdom, help me focus on getting what you’re offering.  I’m freaking out here, and I need to know what I can’t know any other way.

 4Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

I’m not just asking, God, I’m digging.  I’m plotting the excavation and I’m throwing myself at this search for wisdom, hardcore, because I so don’t want to mess this up.

5Then you will understand what it means to fear the lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. 9aThen you will understand what is right, just, and fair…

I know you want me to understand how to hold your ways in awe, so I’m letting go of my definition of right, just, and fair, so you can show me yours.

9b…and you will find the right way to go. 10For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.  11Wise choices will watch over you.  Understanding will keep you safe.

OK, God, ok.  I’ve asked you for wisdom  You give me an abundant supply.  Not just a little wisdom – but the kind that I can make a home inside of.  And I will trust you for that like I trust you for daylight.  Show me what to do next.


Thank you.
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  • Lori Chartier

    This is so good Lynn!! How many times have I done this… I too, avoid conflict at every chance. But, as I have discovered, it’s worth the fight. The fight to hold onto friendship. It makes us more of who we are, which in my opinion is exactly what God intends. To love and understand our unique individuality, so I can love and understand you:)
    So love your heart that pours through your writing! ❤️

  • Deb Richard

    Wow. This is a challenging one. I often bail or sever friendships when I even think there is a hint of conflict. I admire your honesty and courageous spirit.

  • justplainbeth

    Amen. Fourteen years ago I parted ways with a longtime friend, and it was ugly. Ugly with all caps and even now thinking of it makes me sad and remiss and maybe even a bit ashamed. We had come to a crossroads in our friendship and while I still think I made the right choice, I think I handled it badly and it was because I didn’t spend enough time in prayer about it before hand. I rushed in with all the emotions and feelings and junk and well.. fourteen years later I see her name on social media as we share some mutual friends, and I’m still sad about how it all ended.

    • Lynne

      I’ve messed it up too. I have hope of some of those shipwrecks actually having a new ending someday. Some will have to be lessons I learned. I love when God drops the wisdom in, though. It’s such a miracle.

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