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5/15/2006 8:54:45 PM

There are three kinds of difficult friends we want to
look at:

1. Friends who gossip. You can be sure that just as
such friends talk about other people when they are
with you, they talk about you to other people. Gossips
are at the heart of most church controversies, and
Paul tells us how to deal with them: Speak the truth
to them in love (see Ephesians 4:25,29). This means
you go directly to the person who is gossiping and
confront him or her.

2. Friends who are nosy. Some people have difficulty
distinguishing between things they desire to know and
things they need to know. The nosy person may desire
to know many things he does not need to know. The fact
that someone asks me a question does not obligate me
to answer it. We can always respond by saying we do
not wish to talk about it or that we consider it a
personal matter.

3. Friends who are dependent. The dependent person is
the person who makes you feel obligated to him or her.
Dependent people are experts at provoking guilt. A
dependent person counts on that to keep you a prisoner
of his or her friendship. You will need to go to him
or her and talk plainly about the over-demanding
nature of his or her friendship.

Copyright by Dr. Richard D. Dobins @ Akron, Ohio;



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