It was such a difficult time in my life and I was struggling to hold myself together. I felt confused, conflicted and as if there was no one I could open up to. I didn’t feel like anyone could understand how I was feeling. I remembered how my younger self would share with all my friends (or those whom I thought were my friends), but I was now in a different place. Life taught me that the advice they all gave made my problems and confusion worse. I had to acknowledge the lesson my past taught me, so I held on for dear life in this internal struggle. My mind went in multiple directions as I sat there alone with tears burning my checks. Why was I here going through this? Why was I feeling this way? I know I am not who I used to be yet here I was in a situation I never imagined being in. Here I was reading insults from someone I thought was my friend…
Why is it that some feel the need to judge your mistakes or sins as if they never fall short?
She learned of what happened (from someone else) and here I am reading a text from her, the words were sharp and very hurtful. I was shocked and angry at what I read. Rather than call and discuss the situation with me, she judged me. Instantly my mind went back to the time when I was there for her during a difficult life decision without judgement, yet here she was judging me? I was her support even when it went against my own values because I knew a friend must love at all times (Proverbs 17:27) yet, here she was looking down at me, insulting me? Did she feel her sin was less than mine?
“And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 ESV
I had to take a moment to digest what she wrote. I wanted to respond, but in my spirit I knew silence in that moment was best. A response would result in my saying things I would later regret.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool lets fly with all his temper, but a wise person keeps it back.
After thinking about what I should do for a few days, I chose to say nothing and leave it in God’s hands. Sometimes when we are hurt or upset we think we have to react, when truly it is in that very moment we should allow GOD to fight our battles. In Exodus 14:14, we are told “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still”.
It hurt but I chose to look at my situation and asked myself: What is the lesson in this? I knew that reacting to her opinion of me was only going to make the situation worse, yet still I struggled with just staying quiet. I really wanted her to know true friends should not handle the situation the way she did. I was so overwhelmed and knew I needed to speak to someone so I sought the advice of a godly, close friend.
After sharing the entire story with her I thought she would judge me and tell me how wrong I was, but to my surprise instead she told me that God knew I would make this mistake and that he still loved me, and she prayed for me. In that very moment as she held my hand and encouraged me as I cried, I felt peace. This was a true friend: someone who understood my past mistakes, believed in my future and accepted me right in this moment just the way I am – flaws and all.
She wasn’t there to judge my mistake, she was there to help me fix it.
I had no intention of sharing what I was going through with anyone. I had personal conversations with God during this struggle and learned to trust solely in him. But he is such a loving father that he placed the right friend there at just the right time to help me through and remind me what true friendship is.
Everyone makes mistakes in life. We are human, all have a weaknesses and are all flawed. We are all conscience when we do wrong, no matter what the reason behind it is. As Christian’s, we feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction when we make a mistake or fall into sin. Many times our very own guilt and conviction create deep wounds sometimes causing a battle we must overcome. So you see, we don’t need someone to tell us we are wrong, because truth is we already know. But in these internal battles, the support of a friend can make a world of a difference.
Sometimes the battlefield is where you realize your friendships are not genuine – when they judge rather than support.
Although it was not my choice to end it, I learned that this was not a friendship I should fight to keep. This season had to end. She saw no value in me and defined me by the circumstance. I am far from perfect, but God loves me anyway, so I refused to allow her opinion of me to define me.
Know your own heart and don’t allow criticism or judgment from others to hurt you. The Apostle Paul experienced judgement but did not allow it to matter to him. He knew that the only judgement he should be concerned with was God’s.
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-4 NIV
Is there someone in your life you care about that judges you or puts you down? If so, do not allow their judgment to shame you. Be accepting of the fact that it may be time for that season to end. In Ecclesiastes 3:5, the Bible says there is a time to embrace and a time to turn away. Evaluate your friendship or relationship and determine whether it is one that adds to your life and well-being or one that takes away. If the friendship or relationship has already ended, let go and trust God that it was for the best.
In my situation, I took the time to evaluate the friendship and came to realize that it was not the type of person I needed in my life. You can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to see in you. When someone focuses on your mistakes or what they feel is wrong with you, don’t take it personally because it is they who lack in an area.
Pray for them, forgive them and move on.
I pray for this old friend often because I know that she too has made mistakes in life and has experienced struggles that have also left bruises on her heart.
Be thankful for the friendship although it has ended.
For a season we shared laughs and we shared tears, so I know there was a wonderful purpose to our friendship while it existed.
Friends don’t judge
Seek to invest in the friends that believe in you, lift you up when you fall and stand by you.
Friend in Old English comes form frēon, a verb which means “to love”. A frēond is one who loves.
True friendship means giving and expecting nothing in return. When your friend is in need, a true friend feels lead to help. When you fall down, a true friend will be there to help you get back up and encourage you to believe in yourself again. A friend corrects in Love and in truth. A friend takes the time to understand why you’re in the situation you are in and why you did what you did.
Sometimes it is hard to admit when we are wrong due to shame, but we must admit our faults and repent to the one that never judges: God.
I know that I am far from perfect but I do my best to always be there for my friends, even when they mess up. I too acknowledge that I fall short. In the Bible, 1 John 1:8, says, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth”, so this is something we all should practice. Be honest and do your best to live in truth, even if it takes a while to get there. Remember that none of us are perfect.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
Friends are people I hold dear to my heart. I genuinely go out of my way to help others. Along the way I have been taught that this action will not always be reciprocated. Just because I am there supporting my friends through the hard times doesn’t mean they will be there for me when I need them in return…and that’s okay.
We should all strive to be better people each day and not pass judgment over the friends who allow us the blessing of being close to them.
Here are some verses which show us God’s views on friendship:
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 18:24 Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.
Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
When a season of friendship or a relationship comes to an end grieve the loss, acknowledge your pain and evaluate why it happened. In life, pieces have to be broken away in order for us to grow. Look to your future with positivity and allow your pieces to be put back together differently creating a new, better version of yourself. Don’t stay stuck on the things you have done in the past or who is no longer by your side. And always remember actions and circumstances do not define you: God Does.
Thank you for your unconditional love. We are so grateful that no matter what mistakes we make you love us still. Father, we thank you for the gift of friendship and for the honor of sharing relationship with others whom help us to grow and learn from life’s challenges. We ask you for strength to forgive those who hurt us and for faith to always trust in you, because we know that it is you who allows the right people to enter and exit our lives in your perfect time.
We give you thanks in Jesus name,
Growing with you,