Alternately titled-- "To Speak Up or Not?"
One of my good friends just lost a friend because she chose to speak. I lost a friend because I didn't. So really, what's the best way? In both of our situations, I think we made the right choice. I think she was right to speak her mind, and I think I was right not to. But sometimes I wonder...
So what's the rule? Do you only speak if your friend is in serious danger? Going to make life-altering choices that are terrible? Only if you think they'll listen? Or anytime you have an opinion, no matter how small?
If you remember, my best friend moved to Las Vegas this summer to begin a Master's program in counseling. Now four months later, I'm still convinced that she did it to run away from a job that was not good. I think she would have taken any opportunity that got her away from that situation. But I never encouraged her to stay, stick it out and try to fix it. I never told her that if she wanted to truly pursue Christian counseling, that perhaps Las Vegas isn't the appropriate place to get that perspective and training. I never asked her to stay here where her friends and family live within driving distance.
I have a hard time telling other people what to do with their lives. I know I'd resent it if someone told me how to live my life, so I said nothing to her. And now she lives across the country, and we've spoken twice since she left.
In contrast, Rebekah* did tell her friend Lanie* that she was concerned about Lanie's relationship with her new guy. And, as feared, Lanie picked the new guy over her long-time friend. Rebekah and Lanie's friendship is basically over now due to that honesty and concern.
Two different approaches, same outcome. No more friend.
So which is better? I wish I knew.
I also wish I still had my friend.
*Names changed to protect privacy.