By their very nature, friendships morph and change. Why? Because of life changes like moves, births, deaths, marriages, sickness, graduations, aging. Sometimes friendships just get interrupted for a time and then resume again like nothing ever happened. We need to be flexible with our friends. What do I mean by this? I mean that we must accommodate change. If your good friend begins to be a good friend to someone else, then you should flex with it. Understand it. Be patient over it. Give it to God. Don’t fret or worry over it. Give her space. Just think about being constant yourself. So that, if your friend comes back later, she will find that you haven’t changed at all. You are still her friend, anytime, anyway.
Now this runs contrary to our fleshly tendencies. We want to feel hurt and we may be truly justified in feeling hurt if a friend fails us. But if we don’t respond quickly to those feelings, they will morph into ugly things like resentment, pride, jealousy, or envy. And those nasties will infest themselves into every corner of our lives if we don’t chase them away first thing.
The Bible tells us to be wise in our friendships, to be careful, but not paranoid about making friends. Here are a couple of cautions. Beware the friend who is too emotionally dependent on you (or on whom you are too emotionally dependent). This is not a healthy friendship, and when it ends, it will be painful. Beware of fast friends. When you make friends too quickly, you may find out all too soon that the friend is neither trustworthy nor faithful. Beware of friends who flatter you.Â They may be looking for something that you can’t give them. Proverbs is full of wise advice on friend-making. Don’t be friends with an angry man (22:24); choose your friends with care (12:16).
But in spite of these cautions, you must still extend yourself and give yourself away. If you want to play it 100% safe, you won’t have any friends at all. Rather be a friend and expose yourself to the danger of being disappointed in your friends, than insulate yourself and never risk anything at all.
When friends let you down, this is a good opportunity to think about the kind of friend you have been. Have you ever let anyone down? Have you nursed resentments toward others? Have you been a friend who sticks?