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A Little Advice . . .

TO HELP YOU RECOGNIZE AND LET GO OF TOXIC FRIENDS:


Be Honest with Yourself and Others

I used to lie to make myself look cool. But I realized that the friends I was trying so hard to impress weren’t good friends at all. We gossiped all the time and were mean to one another. I knew I had to be honest with these friends, so I told them that our relationships were leading me away from God. Breaking away from that group and finding new Christian friends has been a good decision!

—Holly Cannon, 16

 

Be careful whom you imitate

Although I’m from the South, I don’t have a strong southern accent. Yet after spending a week with my friends at camp, I always come back with a heavier twang. When we spend time with other people, we inevitably start acting like they do—in speech, manner, or action. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God instead.

—Mary Lynn Johnson, 19

 

Listen to those who know you well

After starting a new job, I met someone who shared my interest in movies and music. We quickly became friends, although she was quite the party girl. Hanging out with her, my lifestyle began to change. When my supervisor noticed the change in me, she pulled me aside and said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you who you are.” After that conversation, I began to surround myself with new friends who have helped me to become more like Christ.

—Amy Wickland

 

Be willing to say NO in love

Sometimes we feel that to love people means to give them whatever they want, even if their demands are unreasonable, hurtful, or selfish. But real love isn’t stupid, and it doesn’t feed sin or selfishness. Sometimes love means saying no. Sometimes it means looking past people’s demands and seeing their real need, even if they need to be told no.

—Rachel Starr Thomson

 

Handle all relationships with prayer

When I first noticed that my friend’s attitude was negatively affecting mine, I began to pray about what I should do. My answer was to take a breather. When I took some time off, I saw my attitude change. She’s still my friend, but I’ve learned that all relationships need to be handled with prayer.

—Sierra Klotz, 16

 

DIG DEEPER

devozine toxic3 TSP 6E0A0E534C3D4B349F63EC06D8F09CC2__Elder - Short Report Form 2010-1A famous football coach once said that the young people under his supervision would be changed only by the books they read, the movies they watched, and the people with whom they associated. Certainly, we are a glorious combination of DNA, the things we experience, and the attitudes we choose; but how many of us have seriously considered who or what influences us and how we influence other people? With what do we feed our minds? Who are our friends? I believe our pipeline of influence has a lot to do with what flows out of our hearts and lives. Junk In, Junk Out!

—Von Mitchell

—from devozine (September/October 2011). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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