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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - Apr. 11, 2007

  • 2007 Apr 11
  • COMMENTS

 

April 11, 2007

 

“You No My Friend!”- Part 2

By Susanne Scheppmann

 

 

“A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked

leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

Yesterday I told about the freckled-nose little girl who thought the worst insult she could hurl toward someone was, “You no my friend!” Unfortunately, there are times we might need to end a friendship with someone we care about. I would be remiss if I did not recognize that not all our pals are beneficial friends. I have had many friendships that turned into destructive relationships.

 

Friends hold great influence over us. They can entice us into activities that we know in our hearts we should not participate in. Our key verse today states, “A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Some friends may damage us emotionally and, even worse, lead us astray from a godly life. They become an unhealthy influence.

 

I feel sure we all have felt betrayed by a “friend” at some time in life. I don’t believe you can make it through middle school or high school and not experience duplicity by a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Betrayal seems to hide in the lockers, cafeterias, and gyms just waiting to spring upon us in those vulnerable teen years.

 

Can you recall a time of feeling betrayed by someone close to your heart? Do you still feel the sting of hurt?

 

Not only do these hurtful friends betray us, but they can also hurt us by leading us astray. In my early years, I was asked to mentor a young woman about my age. As it turned out, instead of being uplifting and God-fearing, our friendship turned into a disastrous road of sin. We were not wise in our decisions together. I watched with envy her ability to vomit up her food after she ate to keep her svelte shape. I attempted to become bulimic through her instruction.

 

Even more devastating, the primary topic of our conversations became criticizing our husbands. We encouraged each other to live our lives to the fullest, with or without our husbands. We prodded one another into deeper and deeper sin. Eventually, we recognized our propensity for double-trouble when we were together. The friendship ended, but not before we caused tremendous damage to our families and ourselves.

 

Sometimes people disguise themselves as good friends. I have encountered a few friendships that turned sour. They each left a pungent bitter taste when the relationship evaporated out of my life. In hindsight, these type of women never fully displayed true friendship, and it is quite possible that I didn’t show true friendship to them either.

 

Sadly there have been times when I needed to say, “You no my friend.” I still valued them as individuals, but we were not good for each other. I have tried to end these relationships gently. The Bible directs us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NIV). If there is a friendship that you need to extinguish, seek God’s guidance and wisdom. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct you in your actions and words as you seek a way to say, “You no my friend.”

 

Dear Lord, reveal to me any destructive friendships in my life. Give me the courage, wisdom, and knowledge on how to handle these relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Perplexing Proverbs: A Woman’s Bible Study by Susanne Scheppmann

 

Sandpaper People by Mary Southerland

 

“Feeling Alone” an ETC article by Rachel Olsen

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

Study the relationship that Jesus held with His betrayer Judas Iscariot. Read the following Scriptures: Luke 22:47-48 and Matthew 26:48-50. How can Proverbs 12:20 and Romans 12:18 apply to the relationship between Jesus and Judas?

 

Reflections: 

Do I have a friend who is harmful to me emotionally and spiritually?

 

What influence do I have on my friends?

 

Are there any relationships in my life that I feel God is directing me to end?

 

Power Verses:

Proverbs 22:24, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 21:10, “The wicked man craves evil; his neighbor gets no mercy from him.” (NIV)

Proverbs 2:12-15, “Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org

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