I began blogging about friendships on Monday. We need so much help in this area, don’t we? On the surface, a friendship may seem harmless or alright when in fact it may really be harmful and the other woman can be detrimental to your life in both practical and spiritual ways. I thought I would help you with a few amusing characterizations of the kind of “friends” you should avoid. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
This kind of friend is very selfish and wants all of your time. Hannah does not respect your time and does not understand appropriate boundaries. While she may tell you she wants “just a few minutes” on the phone or after church, she will attempt to monopolize your day. If you tolerate it you will realize there is always one more thing, one more problem, one more story. She is usually the last to leave any gathering and others tend to avoid her.
Hannah also does not want you to be friends with anyone else. She gets upset when she learns you are doing things with other people and thinks she should be a part of nearly every activity you are a part of. This is very self-centered and is more hostage taking than friendship. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
A friend like Penelope doesn’t know how to talk about anything other than her problems. From the moment you sit down across from her with your double vanilla ripple-dipple skinny latte she begins to lament about the people and problems in her life. It is an unending litany of woe broken only when she has to inhale or use the restroom. Penelope is not interested in solutions to the dilemma’s she brings to the table, she is only interested in venting. This is also very selfish and puts you in the position of being her full-time counselor and not her friend. A fool expresses all his emotions, but a wise person controls them. Proverbs 29:11
Debbie is a dangerous kind of friend to have because she is discontent. Usually women like Debbie are never pleased or satisfied with anything. Debbie is a grumbler and a complainer and refuses to see the positive side or the blessings she has received. She doesn’t want to hear about how God has graced her with more than she deserves, she is only focused on what she does not have. Debbie is ungrateful. In some way she believes she is entitled to more than what she has been given. This way of thinking is infectious and Discontented Debbie is someone to give a wide berth. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4
Abbie is an angry woman. Depending on the situation she explodes into an angry rage or stuffs it all inside. Snarky and sarcastic comments are the norm with Abbie, and most people walk away from a conversation feeling bruised. Be careful around women like Abbie; anger is catchy, and if you spend enough time around someone who is perpetually angry you will find yourself becoming like her. Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, Proverbs 22:24
Fran knows her friends struggle with the kinds of sinful patterns of living written about in this blog post. She doesn’t say anything to them and soothes her guilty conscience by telling herself things like, “Who am I to judge?” Fran is content to let sinners go on sinning without confrontation because to get involved in the lives of other women might expose her own sin, it might require her to make some changes in her own life, and it might move her out of her comfort zone. For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7
Friends, I suspect we all know women who fit these descriptions. We must be wise in our friendships because we tend to feed off of each other when we spend time together. It is right to lovingly rebuke and correct such women because we want them to grow and change into Christlike character! What a shame it is that women who struggle with these sinful character flaws remain in their sin because no one is willing to speak truth into their lives. Be a friend, love enough to confront.