Betrayed by a Friend
By Hayley DiMarco
The Frenemy. She’s both friend and enemy. She’s nice a lot of the time, but boy when she’s mean she is oh so mean. But the real problem with the frenemy isn’t how she makes you feel, but her influence on your spirit. In whatever way she takes your eyes off of God or causes you to sin, she has drawn your spirit away from the pursuit of holiness and onto the pursuit of acceptance. In every situation you have to ask yourself, “Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10 GWT)
You can’t go on being afraid of the one you love. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done now. That’s why you have to agree to be honest with yourself, but most of all to be willing to do what it takes spiritually, to improve the situation.
Feelings can’t be trusted. But sometimes how you feel about or around your friend can be a signal that something may be going wrong. Real friendship is a good thing. It should be a place of safety that you can go, and a continual knowledge that in this big world at least one person always has your back. But sometimes friendship can feel anything but good. So at what point do you say enough? Take a look at this list to see if you have a real frenemy:
1. You feel worse after talking or being with her
2. She’s overly defensive
3. She’s jealous
4. She’s controlling
5. It’s all about her
6. She never forgives
7. She agrees with or encourages you to sin
8. She loves to talk about other people
9. She loves revenge
10. She loves this world
Okay, so what now? As a believer your reaction to every human being on the planet is to be the same, it is to be love. Love is a weird thing. It seems like an emotion beyond your control. But that isn’t true. Love is not just an emotion; it’s an action. The reason I know is that it is found in God’s Word. God calls us to “love our enemies.” (Matt 5:44) Now how could he possible command you to feel ‘lovey dovey’ about someone who hates you? Can you be made to feel something? Of course not! You can’t do it. Feelings can’t be commanded. So when God commands love he isn’t commanding you to feel anything but to do something. And love, as commanded by God, isn’t reserved just for friends, but for Frenemies, as well as full-on enemies.
I believe that, in the life of a believer, there should be three kinds of friends:
1. One who is more spiritually mature than you.
2. One who is about as spiritually mature as you.
3. And one who is less spiritually mature than you.
This is the friend who maybe just got saved, or who needs a lot of help working on some issues. She isn’t as wise as you and needs someone she can go to when life gets confusing.
Depending on which type of friend you have, you are going to have a different role to play. For my friends who are less spiritually mature than me, I don’t expect them to listen to me as much as I listen to them. I don’t get mad when every time they call it isn’t to find out how I am doing but to talk about themselves. I’m not angry when they get mad at me, or say something nasty, because I know my role in the relationship and I am happy to be the less needy one. With this friend I focus on helping them to understand how God’s Word relates to their lives.
When it comes to your Frenemy, the first thing you have to consider is her spiritual maturity level. Could some of the things that bother you about her be signs of her spiritual immaturity? If so, then what does this say about your role in her life? When you look at friendship through the light of spiritual roles, it becomes a lot easier to handle difficult people. I pray that you, my friend, will be a true friend to those in your life, even your frenemies. And that you won’t let anyone take your eyes off of your Savior, even in the name of friendship.