Q: Q:I feel like I am used, even abused, by my friends. When they need help, they call on me and treat me like one of them; but when it comes to other activities, I never hear from them. – D.F.
A: A:Often people will assume responsibility of an abuser’s behavior because they are afraid of losing friendships. But the question is, what is a true friend? Social media has redefined the meaning of friend. We must be careful to choose our friends wisely. The world may talk grandly of loving others, but in reality its philosophy is “each man for himself.” The Bible says, “The righteous should choose (friends) carefully” (Proverbs 12:26).
But it is also important to examine our own hearts when difficulties arise in relationships. When we have sufficiently, before God, asked Him to reveal what we might have done wrong and corrected it and the problem continues, then we may need to turn to another question: Are our friends uncomfortable with our living in a way that pleases God rather than living a life that pleases them, causing them to feel convicted by their activities?
If friends exclude you from parties or other activities this may be the reason. If so, take heart that you are following God rather than people. If we take a stand for living right before God, this may mean that we are scorned by family and friends. Living for truth is not popular. Friends can prove fickle, but Christians can take comfort in knowing that there is a Friend who stands with us, who doesn’t leave us or forsake us. Jesus is that friend and says, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command” (John 15:14).