This is honestly something I’ve been struggling with for quite some time now. Losing a close friend for any reason has always been hard for me. I would always fight to keep them in my life. Unfortunately even if they were destructive to my faith. Whether intentionally or unintentionally.
I’ll open up a little bit to you guys about where I’m at right now. This is actually really hard for me to talk about. But here it goes. God’s lead me to let go of my friendship with my ex. I love him so much, but it’s become destructive. There’s too much bitterness & mistrust. Oddly enough, even though he was the one that cheated on me…I’m not the one that’s bitter. I have my faults too, but I’ve been trying so hard to just be friends with him. & even just as friends, it’s not enough. & I’m just so, so tired of fighting to make things right. But nothing is working. & I feel like I’m the only one who truly wants to keep this friendship, we’ve been friends since we were little kids. & regardless of what happened, I want to love him like Christ loves him. But I’m just so, so tired.
God’s been teaching me lately that sometimes we have to let people go. For our own sake & for the sake of our walks. A true Christian friendship, like a relationship, should still always have Christ in the center. If Christ is not in the center, it won’t work.
So I’ve been really digging into the word to try to see what God says about what it means to be a true, Christian friend. I want to share what I found.
Christian friends love sacrificially. If we only choose our friends based only on what they have to offer us, we’ll miss out on the blessings of a genuine friendship. Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.” Love like Jesus loved, that starts by valuing your friend’s need above your own.
Christian friends accept unconditionally. Proverbs 15:13 says “A friend loves at all times, & a brother is born for adversity.” If we’re easily offended or hold on to bitterness, we’ll have a hard time making & keeping friends. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. & if we take a truthful look at the situation, we can admit that we bear some of the blame when something goes wrong in a friendship. But a good friend is quick to ask for forgiveness & is always ready to be forgiving.
Christian friends trust completely. Proverbs 18:24 says “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Trusting too easily can lead to ruin, be careful about putting your trust & confidence in a mere companion. Share complete trust with a few loyal friends.
Christian friends give mutual edification. Proverbs 27:6 says “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” True Christian friends will build each other up emotionally, mentally, & spiritually. We’re there to give each other strength, encouragement, love. But sometimes we are called by God to say the difficult things. Yet because of the shared trust & acceptance, we can trust each other to deliver hard truth with grace & love. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
1 Corinthians 13 talks about love. A kind of love that can be applied in a friendship as well. If that’s not the kind of love you are showing to each other…if you aren’t being kind to one another, if you are keeping records of wrongs, if you are being prideful. Maybe you need to take a step back & ask yourself…where is God in this friendship. Are you being a true Christian friend? Are they? If you feel smothered in a friendship, something is wrong. Likewise, if you feel used or abused, something isn’t right either. Recognize not only what’s best for you, but what’s best for the other person as well. Space can be healthy, just make sure it’s of God & not of bitterness or anger.
Taking the time to evaluate yourself & making sure you’re being a true Christian friend is good. But the both of you have to be like-minded & pursue the friendship through Christ together. If not, then maybe it’s time to let go. At least for now.
Many of us who desire to be healed make the mistake of thinking that we can be healed without obeying God. We can have this attitude that God has to or will do it when, where, & how we want it to be done. But this is not true. Obedience is one of the most important keys to receiving our healing.
Our world is full of spiritual leprosy. We have wounds & scars from sins of others & sins we’ve committed ourselves. & a lot of times, we look to the wrong places for our healing. We live in a world where everything is instant. Instant coffee, TV dinners, drive-thru food, & we carry the internet in our pockets. But there is no such thing as instant faith. Faith requires us to obey, to move, to wait on God to give us what He knows we need.
"If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat." - Isaiah 1:19
Not only do we have to allow God to be the provider of our healing, but we must also be willing to do what He asks of us. It won’t be an easy road. Maybe there’s something you need to die to. Something or someone you need to let go of. Maybe you need to seek forgiveness from someone. Maybe you’re the one that needs to forgive someone who hurt you. Whatever God is revealing to you, it is the path to true healing. Now it’s up to you to take that path. The choice is yours.
There are nights when I just lie in bed & I just cry. I think about the pain that’s still there when the “Godly” man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, cheated on me with my best friend. I think about all the choices I’ve made. How I still took him back because I loved him & I thought we can work through it because of so many obstacles we’ve already had to face. But then I let him continue to treat me like an option, like something he could just put on a shelf & pick up whenever he wants. I think about how guilty he makes me feel for all the ways I’ve ever hurt him. How the record of wrongs just keep piling & piling up. How I can’t even forgive myself either. How he just keeps throwing me away every time I make a mistake. I know I deserve better. But then I ask God, if he’s not for me, then who? Who can love someone as messed up as me? Then I felt a calm. A gentle voice saying “my daughter, I love you. I love you as you are & I will walk with you as you grow into the woman I’ve always made you to be. But you have to let go. Let me take care of you now. You are broken, let me restore you. Rest your heart. Rest in Me. Trust in Me. Let go, let Me.”
- Joel Austin
It’s hard. It’s complicated to reconcile a God who works through pain. It’s tough to trust in a Lord who allows suffering & inconvenience. It’d be a whole lot easier to mindlessly promise myself that Jesus always wants to make life easy, but I don’t think that’s how He works.
If anything, Jesus uses dark colors when He paints. He’s into streams in the desert & life out of death. Just take one good look at the cross & that ought to convince you that the God the Bibles speaks of is a God who uses horror & injustice to His advantage.
The cross is evidence to our minds, & balm for our souls that our God is a God who brings beauty out of pain. Art out of chaos. Beauty out of ugliness. Or as some of the poets have said, He conquers death by death itself. Our Redeemer beat Death at his own game.
When we trust Christ, & the mysterious work on Calvary, we trust that He’s always up to something good even in the darkest days. In fact, that’s probably when He’s up to the most good, because that’s when the most good grows in me.
So hey, I’m delayed, I’m uncomfortable, but if this is the path the Lord has brought me down, then I say, “Don’t stop it Lord.” Redemption was born on a far darker day than this one, so bring the chaos. Bring the madness. Do whatever you’ve got to do to recreate my heart. After all, it’s me that needs to change, not my circumstances.
- Mike Donehey
"do u have a facebook?. :) :D"
Hi! Yes I do have a Facebook, but I mostly only add people that I actually know personally. Just to be safe ‘cause you never know these days haha. The only accounts I share publicly are my tumblr & my instagram :)
- Trip Lee