Reflecting on Matthew 18: 15-20
A friend of mine, the mother of two young adults, once said: I think my kids loved to watch “Friends” because the characters in that television show openly confronted each other (hilariously, of course) and didn’t have any hidden resentments.
But in real life nobody really relates that way, and so my kids leave all kinds of things unsaid, even with each other. They were so much closer when they were kids, before they learned to hide their feelings.
It’s true, isn’t it? The challenges of social interactions are so great that many conversations never happen, and decades-long resentments are never voiced, which means true intimacy is never approached.
Jesus knows a thing or two about intimacy, and gives us this bold suggestion: just open your mouth and say what’s on your mind. Now, this is very risky. Chances are great that the person whom you want to be closer to, but can’t because of whatever it is that’s bothering you, will listen respectfully, thank you for your “feedback”, and then check you off their list of their most intimate friends because they are inwardly seething.
There is an epidemic of estrangement going on in families today. For what appears to be no reason at all, young people are closing themselves off from their parents, and taking the beloved grandchildren with them. And, in many cases, the pleading of their parents for reconciliation is falling on deaf ears.
If only both parties had been able to be honest from the start. Honesty is agonizing, but no great marriage or family ever thrived without it.
Have you ever had the grace to let a friend tell you their honest feelings about you?
Kathy McGovern ©2023