Skip to content ↓

How To Ruin a Perfectly Good Friendship

How To Ruin a Perfectly Good Friendship

A friend and I recently realized that we have not been spending as much time together as we would like. We agreed it is high time to do something about it. But what to do?

We put our heads together and determined that we will deliberately build time for one another into our schedules. But we also determined that we need to maximize those times together. To ensure this we will go through an evaluation process to consider whether they were as meaningful as they could possibly have been. Did we listen attentively to one another? Did we avoid speaking about the minutia of life and discuss only things that are of the highest consequence? Did each of us spend the appropriate portion of the time speaking and the appropriate portion listening? Days later, can we remember all that the other person said? Did we wring every possible bit of value out of each moment?

I’m just making this up, of course. To do any of that would make a friendship burdensome instead of free. Such intense evaluation and introspection would rob the friendship of warmth and life and instead leave it bound by rules and regret. In fact, it would be a great way to utterly ruin a perfectly good friendship.

Yet there are so many Christians who relate to the Lord in just this way. The Christian faith offers the ability to have a genuine relationship with God himself, a relationship in which we speak and God listens and in which God speaks and we listen. We speak to God through praise and prayer and God speaks to us through Scripture and Spirit. It’s a wondrous and beautiful privilege we enjoy.

At least, it’s a wondrous and beautiful privilege we are meant to enjoy. But so often we fail to enjoy it because we bind it up in rules. Instead of just appreciating a relationship, we constantly assess it. Instead of appreciating the moments we spent together, we lament that we did not make more of them. Soon enough we find that we associate the relationship more with sorrow than pleasure, more with guilt than enjoyment. We undermine and even ruin a perfectly good friendship.

But freedom comes when we simply free ourselves to enjoy the relationship. Freedom comes when we speak freely, when we speak openly, when we speak about any and everything rather than only what is of the greatest consequence. Freedom comes when we stop being morbidly introspective about the relationship and simply enjoy it as a good and wonderful gift of grace.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by author and Bible teacher Craig Allen Cooper. This giveaway also…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 24)

    A La Carte: To sit in the threat of loss / The world cannot be gender blind / The missing years / Too much times / Finding freedom in God’s providence / The weighted vest of pastoral ministry / A micro course for pastors / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 23)

    A La Carte: How a wife entrusts her husband to God / Everyone has their own facts now / A better way to look at missions / The secret of contentment / Hospitality—a command for our joy / Are you barely hanging on? / and more.

  • Redeeming Sex in Marriage

    Redeeming Sex in Marriage

    Surely few things in this world are more mysterious than sex. Surely few things give such clear evidence that there must be more to them than the sum of their parts. On the one level, sex is a simple biological function that exists to populate the earth with human beings. On the other level, it…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (May 22)

    A La Carte: What should we think about paedocommunion? / Ten questions for readers of erotica / You are an influencer / Do you believe your pasture’s green? / Adam poisoned me / Kindle and Logos deals / and more.