“[Francis] is the most boring child I ever met, talking to him is like settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean.” – Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird
This quote is perfect. It puts into words the exact feeling I have when talking to a particular person. Whenever I am with them it is like being trapped in a coffin and every word they speak is like the dull thud of dirt being shoveled on top of me.
I read a book by T.D. Jakes called, “Loose that Man and Let Him Go!” One of the most important things that Jakes teaches is about letting go of old friends that are pulling you down. I remember him telling us not to feel guilty for letting past friends go, but I dont’ recall how he told us to do it.
How do you tell someone you no longer want to be their friend?
My parents raised my sisters and I to be servant-hearted. My mom was like Mother Teresa and my dad was like Ghandi – they always reached out a hand and even when they had their hands bitten by the people they were feeding they still reached out – they are amazing. I am not there yet. I don’t forgive and forget quite as easily.
Sacrifice is part of what Christians are all about. We die to ourselves for other people. We bend over backwards, we turn the other cheek, and we do it all because that is what Christ did and what we are taught to do. However, let me be the first to say I am not a saint and I am definitely not the Son of God. I can only take so much, I can only tolerate a parasitic relationship for so long, and once I have been sucked dry of all kindness and mercy I have to move on.
I still don’t know exactly how to move on. Normally I just stop calling that person and let the friendship die like an un-watered plant, but sometimes, like a cactus, these friendships won’t just dry up, they keep pricking you when you least expect it hoping to come back into your life. Ugh.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many friends may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
I always try to be a good friend, a positive encouragement to the people I love and Christ-like to those I don’t.
I don’t have all the answers, I am not Dr. Phil or Oprah, but what I have learned in the last 10 years is that sometimes you outgrow your friends before they outgrow you.
So what do you do?