I must admit that for most of my life I have not enjoyed the company of numerous friends. I’ve had one or two here and there over the course of my entire life that I can call true friends. And now at the ripe old age of 34, I find myself still without a large company of true friends.
However, this doesn’t bother me anymore.
Over the past 8 years, I’ve walked through several experiences that caused me to see that people who prided themselves in declaring they had “best friends” actually had best actors and actresses.
I’m not here to talk about backstabbers and gossips. Shifting blame is a great way to avoid taking personal responsibility. What I do want to talk about is the importance of using wisdom and seeking God when it comes to those you will connect your life to by way of friendship. Proverbs 25:19 has this to say: “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble”. It has often been said that we don’t know who our trues friends are until we experience hard times or are in need. However, I don’t believe this to be entirely true. Most of the time, we do know who our true friends are but we spend most of our time and energy on friends who are not true, in the hopes that they will change. It seems to be something deeply ingrained in human nature to neglect those who care the most for us and to sacrifice our time, energy and resources for those who have never demonstrated a willingness to do the same for us.
The older I get, the less confident I become in my own abilities. When I examine my life critically, I realize that my ability to discern between fake and real has often been way off. So what should we do? We should seek God and ask Him to reveal to us those people in our lives who have lying lips and deceitful hearts.
Maybe it is, but wouldn’t you like to know?
There once was a group of women I used to associate with on a daily basis. We had a sort of online sorority going on. We emailed and chatted throughout our work days and discussed everything from current events to personal issues. After a while, the Holy Spirit told me that I needed to disconnect from this group. Something just didn’t feel right. There were a few occurrences in our interaction that left me feeling that most of the women were insincere but I brushed it off, assuming it was just my own insecurity that was causing me to doubt them. However, here’s one important truth that you must know: The Holy Spirit may contradict you, but He will NEVER lie to you. Just because I didn’t think they were insincere and didn’t want to believe they were, doesn’t mean that what the Holy Spirit was revealing to me in my heart was a lie. Of course, I found out a few months later (the hard way) that everything the Holy Spirit told me was true and I ended up being hurt deeply by these women that I’d placed so much confidence in.
Why am I telling you this?
I’m telling you that you cannot rely on your own ability to spot “good” and “bad” people. No one knows the hearts of men except God Himself. He’s perfectly willing to reveal what a person’s true motives are to you, but you must first be willing to ask and receive His answer once He gives it.
Finally, I want to talk about the need for associating yourself with people of character and integrity. Just recently I disconnected from a friendship, not because of anything she’d done to me personally but because of what she told me that she did to another person. She was vindictive, spiteful and just plain wrong. She confided in me about her actions and I was greatly disturbed by her behavior. This wasn’t the first time her questionable character hadn’t sat well with me, but this time, the Holy Spirit drew His line in the sand. He told me it was time to let her go. In my heart, I said, “She hasn’t done anything to me personally. She explained to me why she did what she did. She did it to get back at someone who wronged her. Why should I hold it against her if it wasn’t directed towards me?” The Holy Spirit gave me an answer. He said, “She hasn’t done anything to you YET. But she has just shown you what she is capable of doing to someone that she does not like or becomes angry with. Just because you’re on her good side today doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself on her bad side tomorrow. Don’t kid yourself in assuming she would spare you simply because of who you are. Her actions prove to you that when she is angry, she becomes consumed with spite. It is dangerous to assume that you will never find yourself on her bad side, even unintentionally”.
So without further delay, I disconnected from that friendship.
The character of your friends matter. You don’t sleep with married men but you have friends who will. She is capable of wrecking another woman’s home but you assume she’d never wreck yours? Don’t flatter yourself. You have friends who gossip about other women and run them down in the ground. You assume she’d never talk about you this way because she says, “You’re my girl!” But she has proven that she is capable of smiling in some one’s face and tearing them down behind their back. It would be foolish to assume she is incapable of doing the same to you.
You need the Holy Spirit as a guide in your life. He is the Spirit of Truth. He wants to help us navigate through this life and connect our lives to people who will build us up, strengthen us and that we can do the same for them. Not all friendships are created equal. Not all relationships are productive and healthy. Don’t make the critical mistake of thinking you are capable if judging a person’s heart simply from their actions. If someone treats you good but destroys everyone else in their life, who is that person FOR REAL?
You cannot afford to ignore the truth that is screaming at you daily concerning the people you have taken into your life and called friends. The Word says, “Bad company corrupts good character”. This is true of young and old. I’m not friends with some people (that’s not to say I’m not friendly) because the last thing I need is for someone to assume that I have the same character as the person I have taken into my life.
My friends think like me. They share my values. You can know me by the people I call friends. Jesus was called a friend of sinners but the truth is, He was a friend of those with a pure heart. Ask God to reveal those who are not of a pure heart in your life and to connect your life to those who are. You can’t afford to continue with people who do not reflect your values and who will not be faithful in times of adversity.
Ask the Lord to guide you and He will direct your paths.