I have experienced a number of instances in my life where I considered certain people to be my friends. I trusted them. We hung out consistently and generally shared the same views. However, for a number of reasons, many of those friendships have ended. I am realizing that God used certain friendships in my life for specific seasons of my life. How did I know it was God? I tried to rekindle the flame with some of my old friends, but the flame never really stayed lit.
In life, we may have friends who we start out with in the world that share the same love toward worldly things like we do such as partying, drinking, and whatever once seemed “fun” to us. But when we turn from our old ways, such relationships end. This is because the friends that we were once close to do not desire to walk in the direction that we have been called to walk in.
Are they bad people? Has God forgotten about them? No, but God wants what is best for you. Even though He loves all of us, He certainly does not want to keep people in your life that will cause you to turn away from Him.
Many times I ask God to pluck out anything in me that is not pleasing to Him. I ask Him to make me whole and heal any and all of my brokenness. Just as it is difficult to let go of old habits, it’s even more difficult to let go of relationships that we realize we have outgrown.
I found that when I reached back to these relationships, I wanted to somehow save my friends, when in fact the only one who can save anyone is Christ. When God is trying to use and develop you, the best thing you can do is draw near and keep your mind focused on Him. Do not reach back to the past to reconcile because the idea of closure can also be unhealthy if those results don’t pan out the way that we expect them to. You don’t need to be validated by people in order to live your life. Forgive the person for their transgressions against you, ask God to forgive you for any wrongs you may have caused the person, and move on with your undivided attention set on Christ.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (1 John 2:19 NASB)
It hurts to watch those we love struggle and refuse to take God’s hand. It’s painful to live in the recognition of God’s grace and watch others who suffer ignore that same grace that is afforded to them. As Christians we can plant seeds of faith, but only God can truly water those seeds and cause them to grow. In this way it is made plain that although we are to love our neighbors, we may not need to be in association with them. God has a plan for your life. He has worked out every angle and He knows where He wants to place you in the Kingdom. Trust that Christ even knows whom your friends should and should not be. He knows those who will cause you to stumble and those who will allow you to grow.
Allow God to prune you and produce more fruit from your spirit. Don’t dwell on relationships that have ended. Instead, be thankful for the time you had and the lessons you learned.