It happens at least once to most teens. You develop a close friendship with a girl (or, in some cases, a guy) who seems to be a wonderful friend who would do anything for you. Your friendship is going great and all seems well, until…
- You discover they lied to you.
- You find out that they spread rumors about you.
- They told a secret that they promised not to tell.
- They pretended to be someone they were not.
And it feels like your world is falling apart. What do you do? You might cry. You might refuse to speak to them again. You’ll probably even ask God why He would allow it to happen. And you’ll probably say something along the lines of: “But I thought she was my friend!”
When this happens, we often don’t know what the correct response to the situation is, and sometimes we respond in a way that does not reflect the love of Christ. So what should you do when your friend has hurt you?
- Talk to God about it. He knows what you are going through, and he is the ONLY ONE who is going to have all of the answers you need.
- Search the scriptures. There are so many verses about friendship, betrayal of trust and forgiveness that can give you insight into a godly response to the situation.
- Don’t confront them immediately. I know our first instinct is to run to this friend and demand to know why they did what they did, and to tell them just how much they hurt us. But more often than not, this ends with more pain for both people involved. Give yourself time to think, pray and consider things before talking to this friend.
- Talk to a mentor or other adult. I have been through this a few times myself, and I have found that talking to a spiritually mature adult is always a wise idea. And make sure to talk to your parents too. Speak with your youth leader or church pastor and ask them for advice on handling the situation.
- Remember that it is not your fault. Some people (myself included) have a habit of blaming themselves when bad things happen. We blame ourselves for the actions of other people. I blamed myself when my best friend became angry at everything to do with Christianity, because I was the one who invited her to a church full of judgmental people in the first place. But we have to remember that a person chooses what they do, and even if we might have had something to do with spurring them on, we can never blame ourselves for the actions of others.
- Finally, pray for your friend. Even if you are angry at her, pray. Pray that she will listen to you when you speak with her, and pray that she sees the error of her ways. Pray that God will help both of you to do the right thing.
I hope that this might be of help to any young woman out there struggling with a broken friendship. Remember that you are cherished and loved by the heavenly Father, even when you are hurt by people who make you feel unloved. God will walk with you through every trial, and will bring people into your life who will guide you along the way. God bless!