During one of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s recent radio shows, she took a call from a teenage girl and her mother. The teenage girl began, “I have a friend who degrades me…” Dr. Laura addressed the statement with a straightforward objection to two ideas: 1) that a person who treats you nastily is your friend, and 2) that anyone else has the power to change your worth. Dr. Laura then continued in her way to converse with the mother-daughter duo. While not everything Dr. Laura says meets with the approval of God, the Scriptures agree with her assessment on both levels.
The Scriptures define true friendship and describe how friends behave. Consider Proverbs 17:9: “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.” A friend, and one who will maintain close relationships, is one who does not tell the stories of others’ transgressions. In other words, a friend does not gossip. Consider also Proverbs 27:6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” A friend is not just a person who makes you happy. A friend is one who speaks the truth to you for your benefit. Sometimes the truth stings because you are standing in the wrong. A true friend is willing to hurt your feelings to help you come back to righteousness. A friend, as Proverbs 17:17 says, “loves at all times.”
Allow the Scriptures to assess the people in your life and set them in their proper categories. Many mistake enemies for friends and, in the process, allow those enemies to influence their view of themselves. God, your Creator, is the One who has said you are worth the life of His own Son (John 3:16). You were worth creating. You are worth saving. Anyone who says otherwise is not your friend, and they are not telling you the truth. If you need a friend, please contact me. You were worth the death of our Savior Jesus; you are certainly worth some of my time.