As I have gotten older, I have learned that some people will do things to earn your trust and get close to you so that they can use you, or ruin you into pieces. And man…it hurts, when you found out someone you trusted wasn’t really worthy of your trust all this time, all because they had their own agenda. If you ask me, it’s better to have an open enemy than a false friend. With an open enemy, at least you will know they are on the look to cast a stone at you, and you need to watch out, so perhaps you will be able to do something about it, or resolve a few things. I had to ask God to help me with my trusting issues, because when it reached a point even a few of your closed ones become few of the people on your list of untrustworthy relationships, it can worsen the situation. And it’s really hard to restore trust once it’s broken. You can forgive, but the forgetting part is where many of us are struggling to manage.
- We need to choose our friends carefully
In the Bible in the book of Proverbs chapter 12 verse 26 it says, reading from World English Bible version, “A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” King James Bible version says, “The righteous chooses his friends carefully: but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” And in Amplified Bible, the same scripture says, “The [consistently] righteous man is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked causes others to go astray.”
Choose your friends carefully, because your friends have a power of influence on you. I know someone who used to be a Church woman, a born-again Christian actually. She met this man, let’s say at work. But this guy was Christian by name, but not really a Christian. I guess he really liked this woman for his own selfish reasons. He did his research, so as he was pursuing her, he found out one secret that was going to increase his chances and the secret was to join the Church she was a member of. She was a Church woman, so he made the decision even the Church wasn’t going to stop him to get her. He joined the Church so that he could fool her, and basically win this woman’s heart so that she can agree to marry him. This woman was serving in a couple of ministries; the Church choir, but also in youth ministry. So, the man decided to join these ministries also. For more than two years while he was groomed by the Church, you would think he would have taken an initiative to change his true intentions, but nope. When the time came, they finally got married, and his mission succeeded. But after they got married, now having more control of his now wife, his true colors started to showing up. In some days when she wanted to go to Church, her husband would say things like, “Baby, I don’t want you to go to Church today.” In some days he would even started threatening her and accusing her with her faith and relationship with the Church. He made things really hard for her to continue with her Christian walk, and she slowly started to backslide. But there is more, very soon after they got married, she also find out that her husband is a womanizer. There were rumors going around that her husband maybe cheating on her. How he kept his notorious behavior until they got married for her to find out? I tell you, marriage starts after the matrimony or wedding ceremony is over, that’s when all true colors are revealed, one by one…hahaha.
Now, why I am sharing the story? In life we will have all kinds of friends; from the story perhaps the wife before she met her husband, she knew he wasn’t really a born-again Christian, but maybe she thought she could change him. Maybe if she would convince him join the Church, he would have changed to become that godly man that she desired him to be. But unfortunately, on the other hand this man also had his own mission. He only wanted the woman to be part of his life, but not the godly life also. He managed to fool her to think he was on the same page with her, but only to lead her astray from the godly ways and right foundations that she has been living before he showed up in her life. He made sure she stopped going to Church, and continue to slowly ruining her life and their children’s lives and future, because who knows what colors he is going to show up next after knowing that her husband is also a womanizer.
How many famous people we have heard about who started as well-mannered people but only later to be ruined by people they associated with, who had bad influence on them. They made friends with people who seduced them into corrupted things that ended up to destroying them in the end. In the Bible in the book of First Corinthians chapter 15 verse 33, it says, “Do not be misled; Bad company corrupt good character.”
The Bible advices us if you are a believer, then it’s best to marry a believer. Because we all have different beliefs and ideas, therefore giving ourselves to someone who holds a different belief may bring conflicts to our relationships, even on how to raise children for instance if it’s marriage. It may also pull us away from God. Let’s say if you are a born-again Christian, and decided to give yourself to someone who believes there is no God, there is a possibility they may pull you away from your faith and godly ways. We have seen an example from the story I have shared. In the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 14, Apostle Paul said, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?”
- It’s a good thing to have friends
But be careful which one you let in your life. It’s important to know that we cannot change people. We can influence them to want to change, but only God can change them. People will change when they want to change, not because you want them to change.
In the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verse 9 and 10, it says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Friendship is a mutual thing. And we were created to fellowship with one another. It’s good to have friends because we need them in our lives. We can benefit a lot from true friendship. True friends can lift us up when we are down.
One thing you need to know is that, a true friend will not flatter you at times when you need a rebuke. Unless of course, both of you don’t know any better. In the book of Proverbs chapter 27, verse 5 and 6, it says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” A true friend is someone who can tell you, ‘man..you have messed up this time.’ A true friend would advise you to become a better person. A true friend will be there for you when you need help, and will also be loyal to you. Those are just few examples of good qualities of a true friend.
In the Bible in the book of Job chapter 16 verse 20 and 21, Job said, “My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.” But also in the book of Proverbs chapter 18 verse 24, it says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
We know Jesus is that one true Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Jesus said in the book of John chapter 15 verse 13 that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Who sacrificed his own life to save us from our sins so that through Him one day we can experience an eternal life? The Bible says it is the Lord Jesus who intercedes for us. In the book of Hebrews chapter 7 verse 24 and 25, it says, “But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”
So, now we know, the Lord Jesus is that extraordinary true Friend that the Bible says who stick closer than a brother.
But we can say, there are some people who have had an experience to have at least one true friend in their lives, apart from the Lord Jesus, who for somehow are very close to them. You know…the best friends, maybe soul mates, those that they find to have this really deep connection than the rest of the people God placed in their lives. Those some of us we also call long-term quality relationships.
At some point in our lives we all want(ed) to marry someone who is your best friend or a soul mate. It’s because they can make relationships seem easy. It’s good to have someone who easily understands you or can easily connect with you in a higher language. With them, you don’t have to explain a whole lot, or pretend to be someone you are not around them or with them. They can read you, and you can read them. And they will be there for you through thick and thin. Life gets easier when you are in that kind of level of connection.
Anyway, true friendship exists. Even though sometimes it will take time to grow it, but it can exist. You just have to find one, but also be one. As they say, “In order to have friends, you must first be one.”
I don’t want to forget: Happy Belated Valentine’s Day guys! As for me, I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because I don’t want to wait until Valentine’s Day to receive love, or give love, or experience love. So, to you’ll true lovers out there who celebrate Valentine’s Day, may you continue to experience Valentine’s Day in all 365 days in a year. XoXo, HM
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