Discerning Unhealthy Friendships (Part Two)

Last week we began our discussion on discerning unhealthy friendships and how we are called to be in community but not every relationship is healthy for us.

Love and respect is for everyone; but our close personal friendships are those that we should be wise about because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

(Click here to read last week’s blog)

 “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Proverbs 13:20

We also talked about how sometimes discerning healthy and unhealthy is not easy but why walking closest to the Holy Spirit we can be wise about our close connections. Here are  two reasons we discussed why this is true.

  •  When I am walking closely with the Holy Spirit I can trust his discernment for our close connections.
  • When I walk closest with the Holy Spirit, I will be a woman of decision confidently directed by the Lord not vulnerable to the control of others.

(Click here to read last week’s blog)

Today, we move on to explore two additional reasons:

  • When I walk close to the Holy Spirit, my identity is rooted in my relationship with Christ – not my relationship with others and therefore I can see rejection from God’s perspective.

Facing Rejection and Understanding the Truth

There is nothing I hate more than being rejected – can you relate?

Now don’t get me wrong, rejection will always sting on some level because we are human, but when we allow the way others treat us to determine our identity that is when we get into trouble.

I lived this way for years – and to be honest I still have to remind myself of this truth:

We are not defined by how others treat us. We are defined by the truth in God’s Word.

Your worth and value is not defined by having everyone like you. In fact that is an unrealistic goal, and one God is not asking you to pursue. He is asking you to pursue him and love others – not please everyone around you. There is a big difference.

I faced rejection this week – and it still hurt. I am not going to lie. I cried in my pillow before I went to sleep. But this morning I brought all this to the Lord and gained his perspective on the situation. This is the key – it’s not that rejection won’t hurt – but that you can have God’s perspective.

In the past I would have gotten really mad at this person and unforgiveness could easily creep in. Or I would have tired extra hard for that person to like me to prove them wrong. This was a great recipe for unhealthy relationships.

But that was when my identity was rooted in my relationships with people rather than my relationship with Jesus. Now it is much easier to lovingly let go of others who have let go of me.

Here is what I have found: Often rejection is a form of God’s protection and redirection to a more healthy relationship. God does not want you to be close to everyone! So forgive others and gain God’s perspective on the situation. If you need to say you are sorry for something – do it. And if others have let go and you – let them go.

  • When I am walking closely with the Holy Spirit, my desire to be loved and secure can be entirely met in Him and from that place of abundance I find freedom to say no to unhealthy friendships, and open my heart to healthy relationships.

Loneliness and Insecurity Can Make Us Vulnerable

When we are lonely or insecure we can be vulnerable to become involved in unhealthy friendship.

Our hearts deceive us. We might perceive worldly strength, worldly influence, popularity or another character trait in someone we think we need and surrender our free will to that person to try to gain what they have. But often people who put on a good show of having it all together on the outside are a mess on the inside!

However, perfect love from Jesus casts out insecurity and means I am never alone. From this place of abundance, I look to people not to give me something – but to love. This frees my heart to let go in love those that are unhealthy and pray for them. It allows me to guard my heart so I can give it first fully to God and then to others as he directs in a healthy way.

God given boundaries are good and healthy. If you have trouble setting boundaries you are not alone. In a recent Treasured Ministries Podcast, I interviewed Michelle Nietert a Licensed Professional Counselor about HOW to set boundaries.

Saying no is sometimes one of the most loving things you can do. Your free will was given to you by God so that you could give it back to Him.

Free will is a precious treasure. Don’t ever surrender that to somebody who wants control over you.  Guard your close friendships so that you can give your heart entirely to God.

Let’s review how walking closely with the Holy Spirit is the key to not getting involved with an unhealthy friendship.

  • I will have God’s discernment for my close connections.
  • I will be a woman of decision confidently directed by the Lord not vulnerable to the control of others.
  • My identity is rooted in my relationship with Christ – not my relationship with others and therefore I can see rejection with God’s perspective.
  • My desire to be loved and secure can be entirely met in Jesus and from that place of abundance, I find freedom to say no to unhealthy friendships, and open my heart to healthy relationships.

So how do you walk closely with the Holy Spirit?

One of the primary ways we do this is by, making room for the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart personally through God’s Word. The Nourish Bible Study Method can help you with that. Take our 21-Day Challenge and discover more.

Listening to his discernment, direction and divine love he will guide you to those healthy biblical close friendships -not with perfect people (they don’t exist)– but those with hearts for the Lord and for you!

Nourish Scripture: John 10:1-18


Blog written by Aliene Thompson. Aliene Thompson is the founder of Treasured Ministries and the Author of the Nourish Bible Study Series. © 2019 Treasured Ministries.