We all need friends to vent to, make great memories with, and count on. No man can be an island, and friends are people we need as we grow and go through life.
As important and valuable as friends can be, we must remember that they are also capable of failing us. In fact, everyone, friend or not, is capable of failing us. Each and every one of us has been let down by a friend before. It happens everywhere, all the time, it’s normal. It could be that he or she spilled your secrets, backstabbed you, or failed to fulfil his or her promises.
We have also let people down too. We’re all humans and it is in our nature to do wrong to others and make mistakes.
It can be very disappointing when friends fail, and sometimes it’s hard to get over the setback. In an attempt to ease off the stress of a failed friendship, here are several key points I believe we must remember when friends fail, when making friends and when maintaining friendships.
- Put God first and create a balance –
Many people see their friend(s) as “everything” and without them, it’s almost like they can’t survive. Factually, there are definitely some wonderful friends out there, but when their absence leads to your misery; then it is defined as an unhealthy and dangerous relationship instead.
Create a balance by having friends, and having God too.
It’s normal for people to get disappointed by a friend and then suddenly remember that there is a God to run to. Don’t make God a substitute. Don’t make God the second person to lean on after your “main” friend has let you down. Put Him first before anyone else, and work hard to make sure your relationship with Him is as strong as possible.
Love your friends, but love God too. Hang out with your friends, but create time for God too. Do not neglect God because a particular person is in your life. Any friendship that has caused you to forget about God is only deterring your mental and spiritual growth.
Creating a balance in all your relationships would save you the heartache of a failed friendship, because you have put God first in your life, not a friend.
- Don’t become too dependent
Reliability is indeed a key factor when maintaining friendships, but you must always remember that becoming too dependent on another person may be a way of setting yourself up for multiple disappointments.
Try not to depend on a friend to be your only source of happiness, or give you joy, or give you peace of mind. Never rely on something temporary to provide for you the basic things of life. Instead, learn to be your own source of joy, learn to be happy on your own, and learn to be independent and comfortable; whether someone is in your life or not.
Psalm 41: 9 says “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
This bible verse is trying to say that looking at mere man as though he or she is everything you need in life and more, only translates to self-deceit. It’s risky to base your happiness on something temporary, because when it’s gone, misery will step in.
The good news however is; there is someone eternal that you can always depend on, no matter the situation, and that is God. Some people often feel that God is too “mighty” to be a companion, but that is untrue. God wants you to build a relationship with Him in such a way that you’d be able to talk to Him about any and everything. He is not just your creator; He is your friend too.
- Keep an open mind
I always put preparation as a key factor to remember in most situations, because in life, anything can happen.
Keep an open mind to the fact that no matter how much you love, adore and cherish a friend, he or she is bound to fail you. Everyone is human and we all have the tendency of letting people down. So don’t expect anybody to be a “perfect friend” to you, and don’t expect any friendship to be rosy.
Expectation is the root of all disappointment.
It is even said that any friendship without down times, arguments and differences is not a real friendship. Let your mind accept letdowns and disappointments, let your mind understand that friends will come and go, and let your mind be open for the worst from people.
Many people don’t take the situation of a friend failing them very well. Some go to the point of becoming so angry that they cut those friends off immediately. This is where forgiveness comes in. Like I said earlier, every friend is bound to fail you at some point. It’s expected and its normal.
You can’t really move on from a disappointment when you hold hate and anger in your heart. You need to let go. Romans 12:17 says “repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of men.”
There is no such thing as a perfect friendship. Everyone has the tendency of letting others down, including you.
Make effort to forgive the friends that fail you, no matter what they’ve done and how heartbreaking it may be.
Remember that you sin against God every single day and yet you still get forgiven, consequently, you are expected to do the same.
- Remember that God never fails
1st Timothy 4: 16-18 says, “At my first defense, no one stood by me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me.”
When all hope seems to be lost, when everybody has forsaken you, when all friends have failed, never forget that there is a God, whose nature is to stand by you no matter the circumstance. Some friends are like shadows. They are present during the bright times but disappear once its dark. God is there during the good, the bad, the jolly and the tough times.
Always remember that.