Some friendships can shake our world because we realize their motives were not pure. Even King David encountered false friendships like this in the Old Testament.

He writes,
“It is not an enemy who taunts me, I could bear that… Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God… His words are as smooth as butter, but war was in his heart.” Psalm 55:12-14, 21, NLT.

I have experienced the unfortunate displeasure of having a friend pulverize my confidence. In the beginning of this particular friendship there wasn’t any warning signals. Eventually, she began to tear me down with harsh comments and then build herself up within the same conversation. That, dear reader, is a red flag.

I allowed her opinions of me to dominate the way I worshiped, the way I sang, the way I preached. When she walked in the room, I would become weak both physically and spiritually.

I allowed her negative opinion of me effect me to the point that I had a negative opinion of myself.

I gave this person so much power over my voice—over the voice of God in my life.

When Healing Took Place

I will forever remember the moment when God illuminated the darkened corners of my mind in prayer and revealed that I was listening to the voices of insecurity and fear, rather than the voice of deliverance and faith.

At that moment I had the choice to silence the voice of oppression.

King David gives us great advice when a situation like this arises,
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22, NLT.

Maybe your confidence has been shaken after disparaging remarks from a friend concerning your education, your weight, your track record in failed relationships, your fill-in-the-blank. These misconceptions can become internalized feelings that lead to self-deprecating thoughts and actions. It is time to identify the cynical language you have accepted and begin to evict negativity from your life. When this happens, it’s important to not allow bitterness over a failed friendship consume you, but to give God the burdens of your heart.

When someone self-proclaims their spirituality, remember that holiness does not and should not make people feel ashamed of who they are. Wisdom doesn’t say, ‘look at me, I’m wise.’ Pure wisdom is quiet and the Lord will draw people into the quietness of His presence.

Think about Jesus, He is the one person who could have proclaimed His greatness, but instead, He showed people love by the way of compassion and love. Jesus will never make us feel unworthy of love and insecure about who we are. He may challenge us to grow and to change, but that is a sign of a healthy friendship (Proverbs 27:17). Today, there is healing for you if you’ve been hurt by someone you thought was your friend, give your heartache and burdens to the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that if there is any bitterness in my heart toward anyone that you would cleanse me and forgive me for holding a grudge. Teach me what I need to learn from this trial. I do not want pain to govern my future friendships. Help me to cultivate the giftings in other people without becoming competitive and jealous. I pray that You would bless the person who has caused brokenness in my life, bring healing to them, and help them in their future relationships. Lord, I choose to draw closer to You today. Amen.  

Angela Overton
Author

Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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