Have you ever had a “frenemy”? In case you are unfamiliar with the term, a frenemy can be defined as a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.
As women, I find that we tend to have a lot of frenemies. You’re friendly, but deep down you feel a rivalry with that person. I think there are a lot of reasons for this – perhaps we compete with each other because we are constantly fighting to stay relevant or to stay loved. Also, I think the media does a great job convincing us that we are not good enough and need to live up to unrealistic standards we see on TV and in social media.
Luckily, God can help us through the Bible to learn how to value and appreciate each other. There are a lot of Scriptures specifically focused on helping us get along with each other. So how can you go from making frenemies to making friends? Take a look at these four steps.
1. Let go of grudges
I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.
Philippians 4:2 (MSG)
Today is no different than Bible days – we, as women, are still always working on ironing out our differences. Our differences of opinion, style, taste and so on. And just like back in the New Testament times, God doesn’t want us holding grudges.
Have you been holding on to any hurts in your relationships? Holding grudges is one of the biggest things that turns a friend into a frenemy. You are civil with that person, but deep down you refuse to trust them or let go of your hurt feelings.
I think God wants us to iron out our differences for many reasons, but one big reason to let go of grudges is that everyone makes mistakes. If you won’t give forgiveness, how can you expect it when you make a mistake yourself (Matthew 6:14-15)?
If you have any unresolved feelings with a friend, make a decision to pray and forgive them. Let it go, because you know at some point you will need the same forgiveness. You’ll find yourself a lot happier when you decide to not let grudges distance your friendships.
2. Accept yourself
3 If you think you are better than others, when you really aren’t, you are wrong. 4 Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.
Galatians 6:3-4 (CEV)
In order to go from being frenemies to friends, we have to focus on what God has given each one of us to do instead of worrying about what our friends are doing next to us. I was a track and field athlete and something my coach would always say was, “Run your race.” This is really important because every time I decided to run like the girl next to me, I always did horrible. It was only when I ran my race that I had my best races.
Are you running your race or are you trying to copy the woman next to you? What’s the race God has given you to run?
When you try to run someone else’s race, you get so distracted that you miss out on what you are capable of accomplishing.
3. Accept others
Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other.
Ephesians 4:2 (CEV)
When you accept yourself – your strengths and weaknesses – you have the capacity to accept others for who they are. You are able to be humble because you accept who you are so you are not threatened by someone when they seem better than you. Instead, you are able to love them.
What do you need to accept about yourself so that you have the capacity to accept others?
4. Be an original
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Galatians 5:26 (MSG)
God designed us to be originals – no one is better or worse than another person. This means, instead of fighting with each other, we can fight for each other and help each other live great lives.
You are an original. No need to fight each other, there is room for all of us.
What fights with friends do you need to drop so you can focus on “doing more interesting things”?
You’re an original. The moment you accept who you are – strengths, weaknesses and everything in between – you’ll be able to be the friend that someone else needs. Take these four steps and you’ll be on your way to building closer and more meaningful friendships with the women around you.