Q: Why should I maintain a relationship with a self-centered, immoral friend who claims to be a Christian but is not living like one? I’m starting to hate her! —Cass
A: Hi, Cass. Thank you for writing us and asking us about this friendship. We appreciate hearing from you.
This relationship sounds like it has been exhausting for you. Clearly your friend has issues that are out of your ability to fix. I’m glad she’s on medication, but she really needs, also, to be in therapy with a competent Christian counselor or therapist who can help her face the reasons why she is self-destructive.
There’s little you can do to help this girl make better choices. She’s making poor decisions for reasons that you may never understand. The reasons go deep and my guess is that they were there before you ever met her. So now what do you do?
I think the most important thing for you is to set healthy boundaries with her. It sounds like a cycle of she makes a bad choice, she calls you, you give her advice, she doesn’t listen, she makes another bad choice, she calls you, you give her advice that she doesn’t take, etc. It goes on and on and it sounds like you are beginning to feel like she is taking advantage of you. She wants you when she wants you, but is not serious about changing.
It may be best to stop giving her advice. In a kind and gentle way, you can say something like, “I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’ve told you how I feel and what I think about your situation but you’re not willing or able to listen, so I’m going to continue praying for you and stop telling you what to do. Giving you advice is not working anyway. I care about you so much and want you to get help.”
Face your anger about this head-on and don’t allow it to fester. Your anger may be because you’ve allowed this friendship to take over your life. You can’t be consumed with your friend’s issues. Setting better boundaries will protect you and her and will help to alleviate some of your negative feelings towards her.
Remember that we are all in need of our Savior, Jesus Christ. She is hurting and needs the Lord, but she must be ready to accept Him into her life. You can’t make that happen. Give her an open invitation to attend church with you anytime, but you don’t have to call her every week and invite her. She knows she can call you.
A friendship like this can make you feel used and tired. Friends like her tend to take and take in a relationship and give very little. This is something she really needs to face herself.
I hope these thoughts are helpful, Cass. Thank you again for writing. —Allison Stevens
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