Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Truth

When it comes to the word “friendship”, it can be a touchy topic for me. The truth is that some of the things I’ve experienced in friendships have been very unfortunate, hurtful, and even toxic. From the good and the bad, I am thankful that I can walk in truth of it all. I won’t discuss everything about the deep wounds from past friendships (out of respect). But I will go a little in-depth. When I think about friendship woes from a biblical aspect, I can’t help but be reminded of Judas betraying Jesus. In Mark 14:32-52, it details when Judas betrayed Jesus. We know that Jesus was (and still is) the ultimate friend anyone could ever have. Luke 15:12-13 NLT says, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I am so glad that Jesus loved me enough to lay down His own life for me. It is a blessing how He is the epitome of a true friend. 

It is quite evident all throughout scripture that Jesus loved Judas, as well as the other disciples. Not only that, but He loves every single person. Hence why he laid down His life for us. Yet, He experienced the gruesome pain from friendships. When Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss of death, it was clear evidence that Judas wasn’t the friend He pretended to be in front of the other disciples. Can you relate to discovering someone you thought were you friend, turned out not to be? If so, you’re not alone.

Jesus already knew that Judas would betray Him, yet He was still overcome with grief before being turned over into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:40-50). Jesus pleaded with God to take the suffering away. He was deeply distressed during that time (Mark 14:33-36). I can’t deny that I haven’t wondered why Judas allowed Satan to enter him and betray Jesus—especially after all Jesus had done for Him. Yes, I know that it all happened for the fulfillment of the gospel, but it is still something I pondered on. On the bright side, I am glad that Jesus died so that I can have life more abundantly. Furthermore, I am grateful that Jesus not only understands how it feels to experience hurt in a friendship, but also sympathize with me in every aspect of life (Hebrews 4:14-15). 

 I realized years ago that some of the friendships in my life were not God ordained. He never meant for me to have connections with certain people. Yet, I pursued them because they were fun, relatable, and we clicked so well. Believe it or not, God spoke to me time after time about certain friendships in my life that I needed to let go of. The more God spoke to me, the more painful my reality became. Can you relate to this? Have God spoken to you lately about friendships that you need to let go of? If so, what are you going to do about it?

For my case, I didn’t want to let go of those friendships. At the time, I couldn’t imagine some of those people not in my corner. They had been around for so long. We had laughed, cried, gotten through heartbreaks, and made memories together. So, what did I do initially? I tried to hold onto those friendships. In other words, I told God, “Uh Uh. These my friends. I can’t let them go.” Which, by the way, is a dangerous thing to do. Never reject the Holy Spirit warning you about certain people. Furthermore, never try to hold onto people that God is telling you to let go of. It won’t end well. 

I remember at times, compromising my relationship with God just to still linger around certain friends. Even though I knew that I no longer wanted to partake in certain activities that they partook in, I feared what could happen to our friendship. I didn’t want things to go sour between us. Most of those ungodly friendships started when I was in a different stage in life. I met a ton of people when I was broken, lost, struggling to understand my purpose in life, and lukewarm. Even worse, some of the people I bonded with were due to our similar lifestyles. Ever met a person that you instantly click with because you both engage in the same sins and have similar problems? Well, that was my situation. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that God wants you to cut off every person who isn’t “saved” or treat them as if they’re not worthy of being friends with you. Instead, you should pray and seek the Lord about every friendship/connection in your life. If it is one God wants you to keep, pray and ask God for confirmation. He will show you signs. If it is one that you need to let go of, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal people’s true intentions. He will do that as well. As you can tell, the best way to seek clarity or direction with friendships is through prayer and seeking the Lord.

What I can say is if God has ordained a friendship, it will be used for His glory in the end. In other words, the friendship will not be centered around ungodly activities. Jesus’s friendship with the disciples did not involve Jesus committing sins as an act of bonding (or let alone, anyone else). So, if your friendships are rooted in sinful festivities and draws you away from God, then you need to rethink your circle. Your friendships should never cause you to stumble in your walk with God.

The truth of the matter is that the closer we get to Christ, the more He will strip away everything that is not like Him. Which sometimes leads to those ungodly friendships being broken. Why? Because not every friendship is God sent. What if God wants to elevate you into a new season? That new season could be a time for you to walk with the Lord and grow even closer to Him. That next season could be for God to take you higher in the spiritual realm without certain people blocking your growth. 

See, just because you’re walking with God doesn’t mean the people in your corner are. Maybe your friends claim to be a Christian, but their actions prove differently. The moment your actions begin to line up with the Word of God, your friendships can either shift in a positive way or spiral downwards. Sometimes, your old friends won’t understand the seriousness of your new life change or dynamics of your relationship with Jesus. On the other hand, their spirit may not be able to tolerate or deal with your new spirit. Maybe you two started out with kindred spirits, but the more you grew closer to God, the more a disconnect came about. 

Furthermore, they could become a stumbling block in your growth. I am a strong believer that the wrong crowd can hinder your growth with God. It’s not to say that once you get saved, you’ve become “better” than everyone not saved. It is simply that once God changes your life around, those still living the way you used to (in sin), could easily become a temptation. Many times, those friends may tempt you to engage in those activities from your former lifestyle (with no harm intended or malicious intents). It is important to stand firm in your biblical beliefs. Don’t compromise. Proverbs 1:10 ESV says, “…if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Therefore, it can become problematic to keep them around if they’re not respecting your new boundaries or spiritual growth. 

Now there are some cases when what once started out as an ungodly friendship ends up being one that is for the building of His kingdom. And how does that happen? Well, it can happen when two people are willing to surrender to God and allow him to be the center of their friendship. Or maybe, one friend furthers their relationship with Christ, and it inspires the unsaved friend to do so as well. Then, boom! Two friends are now on fire for Jesus and serving Him together. I would much rather having a praying friend that I can make memories with and talk about all God has brought me through, rather than have ungodly connections that remind me of my former life full of sin, darkness, and depression.

Unfortunately, having an ungodly friendship that blossom into a godly friendship is not always the case. So, I am sure you’re wondering how did those ungodly friendships end for me? A few simply faded away. While the rest ended worse than others. Was I surprised? No. God had already showed me what was to come. I just didn’t accept it at the time. I watched my circle go from 10+ friends to well under 5 friends (and I do mean under 5 lol). Therefore, things begin to happen, true intentions/colors begin to uncover, unreliable traits came to surface, small misunderstandings festered out of control, and I was left hurt.  

Have you ever been in any of these situations before? Are you currently experiencing it now? Do you feel that God is shifting your circle of friends? Have you recently come to terms with an unreliable friend? Do you feel that you no longer have anyone in your corner? If so, don’t forget Proverbs 18:24 NIV. It states, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruins, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus for being a true friend in our time of need. When we feel like certain people have turned their backs on us, we can lean on the Lord. He sticks closer than a brother.

I challenge you to pray. Ask God for clarity and direction for all your friendships. If you’ve never been hurt in a friendship before, that is good. I hope you never feel that pain. But for those that resonate with this blog, don’t allow those painful friendships to lead to unforgiveness or bitterness. Pray for them, just as Job prayed for his (Job 42:10). Colossians 3:13 NLT says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” This is confirmation that we must forgive everyone—that includes the friend that backstabbed you, lied on you, turned their back on you, or mistreated you. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to invite former friends back into your life just because you forgave them. Even in those cases, I urge you to pray about giving people access to you again. Let God direct you on whether or not to rekindle an old friendship.

When I think about an ideal friendship, Jesus comes to mind again. The truth is that the friendship Jesus had with His disciples was so compelling and God-filled. Godly friendships are for us to build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). That is exactly what Jesus did with His disciples. Proverb 27:17 NIV says, “As irons sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” This is an example of how our friendships SHOULD be. This means that there is a mutual benefit when we fellowship with another believer. As you grow in Christ, you should be sharpening each other—thus elevating in spiritual wisdom and growth. The conversations hit different when you have a God-centered friendship. Trust me, I have one. Proverbs 13:20 ESV says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” This is a very important truth because it is a warning to stay away from people who acts carelessly and make foolish decisions. Instead, we should surround ourselves with believers of Christ we can grow from and grow with.

Being unequally yoked in friendships can lead to great suffering in our own walk with Christ. Just because God created us for unity, doesn’t mean that we should give everyone access to our lives/become friends with them. Not every Christian lives the life of a true believer. So, we must be careful how close we get to people. 1 Corinthians 5:11 NT says, “I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people.” 

On the other hand, it is amazing how powerful Godly unification CAN be. You should be able to talk about God, the bible, your walk with Christ, and more with friends. If those topics get a bit uncomfortable in your friendship with someone, you might need to pray about it.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” This is vital to know because this proves how God never created us to be alone or without Godly connections. 

I truly believe that Godly friendships are one of the best connections we can have on this earth (whether platonic or romantic). Whatever you do, never take that form of unity for granted. Psalm 133:1 NLT says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

In this life, we may have our ups and downs with friendships. We may experience the good and the bad from them, but that is ok. The truth is that Jesus did as well. Moreover, we are never without a friend or hopeless. Jesus is always there for us. If you’ve been praying for godly friendships to come into your life, keep believing Him for it. God will send the right friendships for you in due time. And above all else, be careful in choosing your friends. Proverbs 26:26 NIV states, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Just as we may seek the Lord about a new job, dating a person, or starting a new career, we should seek the Lord about friendships. In doing so, God will direct us. But the question is, will you allow Him to? If so, say this prayer with me:

Dear Lord, 

I repent right now of everything that I may have done, said, or thought that was contrary to your Will. Help me to live a life that pleases you. Help me to surround myself with godly connections and friendships that are beneficial for the kingdom of God. Open my eyes. Reveal every person’s true motives. Strip away every relationship that serves no purpose in my life.

 Lord, give me the strength to walk away from it. I thank you for being a true friend in need. I may experience trials and tribulations with some friendships, but I never have to worry about that with you. Lord, you are the best friend that I could ever have. Even when I’ve rejected your friendship, you have always been there with arms wide open—still waiting for me to accept your offer of friendship again. I thank you for never leaving nor forsaking me. People will fail me daily, but you will never fail me. I thank you for sending your son Jesus to not only die for my sins but experience the reality of life just as I do. I’m so grateful your Word reminds me in John 16:33 NLT that says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” Glory to God! I know that your Word says in 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV, “do not be deceived. “Bad company ruins good morals.” I rebuke in the name of Jesus any bad company sent to destroy my destiny. I will live and not die. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Keep me covered under the blood. I ask that you send me godly connections that will add joy and spiritual knowledge to my life. In Jesus name I pray, amen. 

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope that it blessed you. I challenge you to send it to at least two friends. Don’t forget to leave a comment! See you next month!

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