So i think one of my friends got offended. I'm pretty much a straightforward guy and if I say something that can come off offensive I try to season it with grace. I also understand that you don't have to say everything you're thinking (which ironically is what I'm doing in this blog), because some things are better left unsaid. My sense of humor is on a HIGH level in which i use to my advantage to communicate hard truths or things that need to be said. I dont believe that everything is a joke buuuuuut I think humor is necessary in life, especially in the tough times. We all need a laugh. Well my friend knows these things about me. He knows that I mean him no harm at all (or so I think he knows).
Here's the situation. We used to talk on the phone a lot and by a lot I mean once or twice a week. As far as guy to guy communication goes, I feel that's plenty of time to kick it. Except we dont kick it. It's like he turns into a preacher on me. Now I'm all for encouragement, prayer, and acknowledgment of the Lord, but at the same time we never get to tlk about life and the things that we do everyday in the Lord. It sounds like I'm trying to exclude God from our conversations but I'm not. I just feel like it's a time for everything. Let me give you an example. One time we were on the phone and I was just talking regular and all of the sudden he started preaching on something I wasnt even having a problem with! It was like he was trying to convince me to fix something that i wasn't even struggling with. Thanks for the encouragement though but i just wanted to talk. So i told him about it and I haven't heard from him since. I've now probably offended him again by talking to you about it but he'll be alright. He only knows who he is.
You bring up a very good point. In our zeal sometimes... sigh.
Years ago my pastor used to say something that I really liked. He talked about "doing life together as we do life with God." Yes, Jesus taught but he also did ordinary things with people. He went to celebrations, attended "dinner parties", hung out with them in their homes or on the road. We even have an account of him cooking breakfast for his disciples!
Sometimes we get so tied up in the spiritual well-being of someone that we sort of forget about them on a personal level. We become their "project" rather than their friend and we need to beware of doing that. I've learned (and continue to learn) that it is best for me to lift up my friends in prayer, asking God to help them and guide their steps every day. When I do so, I am in the right position to speak to them when and how God directs me to do so, not how and when I think I should.
Now about giving unintended offense, I am going to share with you something my husband taught me long ago. He said something that hurt my feelings. He didn't mean to but he did. When I finally mentioned what was bothering me, the first words out of his mouth were not, "I didn't mean to do that." They were, "I'm sorry." You see it didn't matter whether or not he meant it. What mattered is that something he said hurt me and he recognized that. I gotta tell ya, the simple act of him apologizing first, validated my feelings and told me that my feelings were important to him. After that he told me he did not mean to hurt my feelings but... he did and for that, he was deeply sorry. I've learned from his example. Even if unintentional, tell people you are sorry and do not belittle their feelings, even if they are unjustified. Acknowledge that what you did hurt them, let them know that wasn't your intent and ask them to forgive you for being thoughtless.