Friend?

We all have someone in our lives who we love beyond their faults. We often excuse things they do and make minor of any hurtful behavior on their part even when it hurts us. They seem so fragile that any correction you would like to make you do not because you do not want to cause them pain or give them reason to do more harm. To be honest we may even be afraid of losing their friendship. Yet if we examine the friendship you will see that the relationship is more like a one way street. You are there for them whenever they need you. You love them unconditionally, yet they neglect the relationship, and may even make demands on your behavior.

You have allowed yourself to become a convenience to them. Compare your relationship with them, to a married man and his mistress. You only get acknowledged when no one is around and then it’s not about time with you but it is all about them. Then they always have an excuse to why they treat you this way. They say they love you and can’t live without you, and maybe that is true. You are always there for them. You accept them knowing their flaws, and that they will neglect and hurt you. They have been a part of your life for so long that you cannot imagine them not being a part of it. Yet are they really a part of your life, or are you some understudy in the play of their life? Are you just waiting off stage waiting to speak your one line, only to have to exit stage left? These friends don’t mean to be selfish we tell ourselves, but they are. Their only concern is about themselves, what they want and what they need and you are like a dog sitting under the table waiting for crumbs to drop.

So what do we do with these friends? To be honest I don’t have a magic answer to solve this question. I wish that I did, but what I will say is that if we continue to allow ourselves to be treated like second best that is all we will ever be. It goes back to the married man and his mistress. The old lie she believes is one day when all is right he will leave his wife and they can then be together then. Most of us know this will not likely happen and if he does leave his wife to be with another there will never be trust and he will more than likely repeat this behavior.

Loving your friend but does not mean that you let yourself get neglected or mistreated. Tell them how they treat you hurts, and if they are truly your friend they will begin to treat your friendship better and not just say they are sorry or make up more excuses. Unfortunately some of us might lose friends we love but the sad fact is if we do they don’t know how to love.  We will still love and respect them but we do not have to allow ourselves to enable the way the treat us. Loving and forgiving does not mean you must tolerate and allow wrong behavior. You just do not hold a grudge against them and do not let the behavior of others take the joy from your life.

I am not saying that you must end the friendship, but to respect yourself enough not to allow anyone to treat you less than you deserve. Eventually if you do not do this you will become bitter and resentful, or you will become depressed believing this is how you deserve to be treated because you may believe that you are just lucky to have someone call you their friend.

Remember Jesus loves you and He is the friend that sticks closer to you than a brother. He also laid down His life to save yours.

Psalm 55:12-14 (NKJV)

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
13 But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[a]
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

John 15:13 (NKJV)

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

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