6 Sure Fire Ways To Kill A Friendship

Most of us not only want to have good friends—we want to be a good friend to others. A godly friend is a gift from the Lord. Unfortunately many of us don’t understand the value of friendships until they are irrevocably broken. Friendships are a relationship of give and take—not always equally in the same measure, but bonding in love and loyalty. Avoid the following pitfalls that kill many friendships:

#1) Expecting a friend to be there for you at all times.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

A friend can love us at all times, but they can’t always be with us at all times. When we put the heavy expectation of twenty-four hour availability on anyone, it will cause friction in the relationship. Only the Lord can be with us every day all the time—He will never leave nor forsake us. Our friends have limitations on what they can or can’t do for us.

#2) Showing disrespect for their family or other friendships.

“It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Many times our friends may be in a difficult marriage or family situation and in their distress—we may have knowledge of their family’s shortcomings. It’s not our responsibility to put their situation in right order. We are to be a source of comfort and encouragement, not sit in the seat of judgment about their loved ones. It’s to our credit if we speak wisely and respectfully to their family or other friends in spite of what knowledge we may possess.

#3) Sharing your friend’s private conversations with other people.  

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:13).

Nothing kills a friendship faster than loose lips. We must always be careful about sharing our friend’s conversations with others. In severe situations of life and death or a destructive sinful behavior, we may have to share with the right people in order to get our friend help. Otherwise friendships are built on trust so we can share freely and safely with our good friends. A wise friend carefully keeps a confidence to themselves in respect and love for their friendship.

#4) Refusing to own up to your shortcomings.

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:6).

Each one of us will fail in one way or another in our friendships. This failure can lead to a deeper relationship between friends if it is confessed and dealt with—not ignored. A repeat offender in the body of Christ needs a loving and gentle word from a friend they can trust. If a friend resists a kind rebuke, they may find themselves friendless as patience wears thin in many people’s hearts. Good friends lovingly hold up a high standard of speaking the truth about sinful behaviors and/or decisions.

#5) Overextending your visits to their home.

“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you” (Proverbs 25:17).

Just as there are different seasons, so also it is for our friendships. There are seasons of our lives where we need the consistent presence of a good friend and yet there are also times when we need to be alone. A wise man or woman respects the rhythm and flow of their friend’s life and home. While we may always be welcomed into a friend’s home—our presence may be more tolerated than desired. Being sensitive and aware of the other people or responsibilities in a friend’s life will add more value to time together.

#6) Hiding jealousy/envy in your heart.

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth” (James 3:14).

An envious or jealous friend isn’t really a friend at all. Only over time will the true nature of their heart be exposed. Many times it’s a snide remark or a slightly slanderous jab at who we are, our family, or career choices that alert us to the presence of jealousy or envy. It’s difficult for a jealous person to conceal their heart motives for long; it’s eventually is released from their mouths and the truth will be known. The remedy for this behavior is a contrite spirit and a willingness to change.

A Friend in Jesus…

Jesus is our Best Friend of all time. Yet the Lord sends other people who share our similar tastes and desires to become close friends. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be good friends and avoid the common pitfalls of broken relationships.

Article by Crystal McDowell

Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.  

Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.