How Do I Deal With Friends Who Are Drifting Apart From Me?
Written by Christi Given | October 1, 2015
Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section and the social media pages of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
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Recently, a PI Girl asked how to deal with friends who are doing things she doesn’t agree with. She feels alone and that they are not being very nice to her. Here is her post.
“…I’m having some friend problems. This year my friends and I are really separated. They have started going with older people and started to do things they aren’t supposed to do. They tell me names like ‘nerd’ or ‘baby’ because I don’t do the things they do. So I’m really alone and I would like some help for me to know what to do. Please tell me if you have been in something like this. Thank you.”
First off, I want to say thank you for being brave enough to share your struggle with the PI community. Next, I want to say I am proud of you for not going with the tide of popularity or following along with the crowd. It takes courage to stand against peer pressure and you are being very mature in your situation. I want to address a few things about this problem.
Sometimes in Life, Friends Change
For one, it is a natural thing that tends to happen in life that people come in and out of your life, and sometimes friends you went to middle school or high school with can even drift apart. Of course this seems IMPOSSIBLE when you grew up with certain friends, or you maybe think that you will be friends for life (which, when this happens, is amazing, of course). The truth is that not everyone stays the same and this is sometimes hard to face, but people can change. From what this PI Girl posted, these girls do not seem very friendly or nice, and I am wondering if they are even genuine friends! True friends will not peer-pressure you, bully you, call you names or exclude you because of your beliefs.
Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. (Proverbs 13:20)
Be Careful Not to Walk with the Wicked (Psalm 1)
The next thing I want to address is that you may have one or two super-close friends in your faith walk, but at least having one believer in your circle of friends is key to sharpening and growing in your faith. If you are hanging around people who have different morals, beliefs and value systems, of course you will outgrow each other and eventually will not see eye to eye. The Bible talks about having wisdom with whom we choose to partner with in life, whether it is our friends or even our husband. We need to really be prudent with whom we spend our time, because as they say, who you hang out with, you become like. The Bible warns us to not walk in the ways of the wicked, and if people are mocking you for your faith, consider going to a local youth group or Christian club on campus. I will be praying God sends even one sister in Christ.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers… (Psalm 1:1)
I am so sorry you have to deal with this, but we have all experienced peer pressure at one time or another. There are times where you may be struggling with the tug of war of wanting to be liked, but when it comes to your faith, do you care more about being liked or following in the ways of righteousness? The Lord warns us that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). We need to be a light to a dark world, but that doesn’t mean be best friends and walk and hold hands with those who are purposely rejecting the Gospel and willfully sinning.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. (1 John 2:15)
Just Because Someone Seems Nice Doesn’t Mean They Are
You need to be careful because, like many of us, if you have had a bad friend or two, they can influence your behavior and you can end up falling into their habits or poor behaviors. They may SEEM nice, but you will know them by their attitudes, if they curse or what they speak of out of their mouth, and what kind of lifestyle they live. (Read Proverbs 4:12.) Do they live for Christ or do they live a worldly life? If the people who you are hanging out with don’t draw you CLOSER to God and don’t encourage or bring you up, I hate to break it to you, but they are not TRUE friends. How can they really be nice if they drag you AWAY from God?
There is a way that SEEMS right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 4:12)
You can, of course, pray for them, be a light to them, but you don’t need to see them all the time. You need to use wisdom with how much you hang out with these people. I pray that God brings a lovely Christian into your circle, and that you don’t feel alone. Remember, God is always with you, and even Jesus was rejected and persecuted. You are not alone, and always know you have the PI community to help you, to pray for you and to encourage you!
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
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PI Girls, do you have any prayer requests or any other questions regarding this topic?