When Should A Christian Walk Away From A Friendship

When Should A Christian Walk Away From A Friendship

Introduction

In the past 3 years, I have had 4 friends walk away from me. I’m not complaining. It’s just a fact. You may have experienced this yourself: friendships that are born suddenly end abruptly too. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s not your fault. What do you do, though, when someone walks away from you?

Do they have a toxic relationship that is harmful to you?

A toxic relationship is one that causes harm to you. If a friend is doing something that hurts you, or if their behavior is so harmful to your mental or physical health that it prevents you from achieving your goals, then consider walking away from the friendship.

So when should Christians walk away from a friendship? Here’s a list of some common reasons:

  • They are not treating me fairly. This could be anything from stealing things from me, to gossiping about me behind my back (or even directly), and even if they’re just being mean without cause. It may sound harsh, but if someone treats you unfairly on purpose then they don’t deserve to be in your life anymore!
  • They are using me for my resources/money/time. One common example of this would be if they ask for money all the time but never pay it back when they say they will; another example could be if they make unreasonable demands on my time because “they need help” with something but never seem appreciative when I do offer assistance (and again… never pay back).

Are they always negative and/or refuse to listen to counsel?

If your friend is always negative and/or refuses to listen to counsel, then it’s time for you to walk away. A toxic relationship that’s harmful to you is something not worth keeping.

Would you be disappointed if your children chose to emulate their behavior?

  • Would you be disappointed if your children chose to emulate their behavior?
  • Is this friend a good influence on your life and those around you, or does she cause more harm than good?
  • If the two of you were in a situation where both of you were expected to play a role in disciplining another person (for example, if one of your kids did something wrong), how would this friend act and react?

Think about these questions before deciding whether or not it’s time for yourself and/or your family to move on from this friendship.

Are they always demanding something from you and never willing to give?

Are they always demanding something from you and never willing to give?

In a relationship, reciprocity is important. If one person isn’t doing their part, it is not a relationship. Here are some examples of demands:

  • They always want you to do something for them without offering help back.
  • They want you around when they need someone but don’t want anything from the friendship when it doesn’t benefit them personally or professionally.
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Does your friend make you feel anxious when you are around them or when you see a missed call from them?

Anxiety can be a sign that you are not being treated the way you deserve. It can be a sign that you are not being respected. Anxiety can also be a signal that your friend is not being a friend.

If it feels like anxiety is constantly creeping into your brain when you think about or see this person, then it’s probably time to end the friendship. If they make you feel anxious every time they call or message, then it’s best to walk away from them because these interactions will only bring more pain in the long run.

Do they continually ignore or trash your boundaries or personal convictions?

If you have tried to talk to them about your personal convictions or boundaries only to be met with resistance or outright disrespect, it may be time to walk away from that friendship.

If they do not respect your boundaries they do not value you or the values by which you live. If they don’t acknowledge the impact their actions have on you and others (or worse yet, if they are aware of their impact but choose not to address it), then there is no reason for a Christian to continue the relationship.

You should also consider having a conversation with them about your values and how important those beliefs are – not just for yourself but for everyone in society. Jesus said that we should love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34). You could ask them why they think God would want His children living lives full of self-harm and addiction? Or why God would condemn innocent people because of who they love?

Is this friendship emotionally draining rather than encouraging or edifying?

Does your friend constantly complain and make you feel worse about yourself? Does the friendship make you feel worse about God or your spiritual walk? If so, this may be a sign that it is time to walk away from the friendship.

Am I the one who feels drained?

It is important to examine whether or not we are being emotionally drained by someone else’s negativity. If so, we must ask ourselves if our time and energy would be better spent spending time with people who encourage us in our faith.

Do they regularly lie, gossip, exaggerate or stretch the truth in others’ faces or behind their back?

  • If they regularly lie, gossip, exaggerate or stretch the truth in others’ faces or behind their back.
  • Discuss this with them directly and seek to discern whether they are doing it intentionally to manipulate you. If so then you should walk away from that friendship immediately as someone who deliberately lies has no place in your life as a Christian.
  • If however your friend is struggling with gossip then confront them (Matthew 18:15-18) and if they refuse to change then allow God’s Spirit through His Word and prayer ministry power to transform them into an honest person like yourself. Ultimately though if they continue after repeated attempts at reconciliation then walk away from that friendship because no one can live with a liar for long without having their own integrity impacted negatively by association or being tempted into compromise themselves when faced with temptation.”
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Do you feel like you never can do anything right in their eyes?

You’re with a friend, and they tell you something. You don’t know how to react, so you say something like “hmmmm.” Your friend doesn’t like this response. They think it means that you don’t care about what they said, when really it just means that this is all new information for you and you need more time to process it before responding. They tell themselves: “She’s not listening to me.” Now this person has formed an opinion about your character based on one interaction—even though their interaction with many other people in the past has taught them that there is no reason to form such an opinion (or at least no evidence).

Do these types of interactions happen often? Do they happen every time? No…but often enough that we can say they are recurring experiences in our lives as Christians who seek friendship with other Christians who share similar beliefs and values as ourselves…and also understandings of what it means to live out those beliefs through our actions every day!

Are they abusive towards you (verbally, physically, sexually, emotionally)?

The most important thing to remember is that if you are experiencing abuse, then it is time to walk away. If they are being physically abusive or using other forms of violence against you, then you need to walk away. If they are verbally abusive towards you and others around them, then it’s time for a fresh start. It can be difficult when someone is so far out of line with their words and actions that all communication has shut down between the two of you (and maybe even others). In these cases, it’s best just to keep your distance until they get help or get themselves in some kind of an accountability program—if not jail!

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Are they only interested in talking about themselves and their own problems?

It’s natural to be interested in the problems of friends. A good friend will be able to relate and offer advice, but when someone is only interested in what they can get from you, it’s time to walk away.

It’s important to remember that when you’re a Christian, your friends are supposed to lift you up as well as themselves. It’s not necessarily selfishness on their part; they may simply not know how or feel as if they can’t help. However, if someone consistently seems more concerned with their own problems than yours and doesn’t seem interested in hearing about yours or being supportive of them, then this person is probably not a good match for your friendship (regardless of whether he or she is a Christian).

If someone seems more interested in taking than giving back, then there may be an issue with his heart toward God and others—and God says we should steer clear from those types!

Does this friendship dishonour God and contradicts His Word?

Has someone in your life been trying to get you to do something that isn’t in line with what God says is right? That’s a good time for walking away.

A friendship that dishonours God and contradicts His Word should be abandoned immediately.

Friendships can make us better versions of ourselves.

You’re not going to have all the right answers. You’ll have questions, and your friends will help you find your way. It doesn’t matter how many years you spend trying to figure things out on your own; when it comes to friendship, we can always benefit from each other’s perspectives and experiences.

Your friends can be a source of inspiration for you too. If they are walking closely with God, they will have a lot to teach you as well as give you hope and encouragement in the Lord. They won’t just tell you what’s right or wrong—they’ll show it through their actions, words and attitudes (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Your friends should be able to encourage one another without being judgmental about each other’s choices or lifestyles (Romans 14).

Conclusion

We know that walking away from a friendship can be hard, but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s important to remember that becoming an adult means learning to navigate new and difficult situations, like when you have to walk away from a friend. You may not be able to control how your friends respond in these cases, but you will have the opportunity to show them kindness by being respectful of their feelings as well as your own.

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