Using the Bible IRL: Case #11

EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).

This blog series gives practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Rhonda's answer to the following question.

—Cat, 412teens Editor

What should I do when all my friends abandon me?

Answer by Rhonda

I’m sorry you are going through a rough time right now. It sounds a little lonely, pretty confusing, and filled with an uncertainty that is probably not your norm. Can I tell you that you are in very good company? On the very night that Jesus was sent to give His life for our sins, the Bible tells us that He was filled with emotion regarding what lay ahead (Luke 22:44). Jesus sought comfort from His friends, the disciples. With His soul crushed, Jesus asked His friends to keep watch with Him while He prayed. Seems like an easy enough request—except that Jesus’ friends failed Him...miserably. Not once, but three separate times, Jesus found His friends asleep on the job (Mark 14:32-41). As the saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

When Jesus came upon them and found them sleeping the third time, He told them, “Ya know what, just keep sleeping—have your rest" (Mark 14:41, paraphrase). Can’t you just hear the exasperation in His voice? The disappointment in His words? The despair of utter abandonment by the couple of people He should have been able to count on to be there for Him? And I can’t help but wonder if you aren’t feeling some of the same things. I mean, here is Jesus, obviously independent, and with a plan. We know He doesn’t need anything or anyone, yet in a moment of extreme difficulty, He turned to His friends. He knew His friends had the potential to provide a measure of comfort—and yet they did not.

How do we respond when our friends let us down, or completely abandon us, in our moment of need?

I think we have to look at Jesus’ response for that answer...

Abandoned by those who should have been His closest friends, we could well imagine an angry Jesus. Perhaps a bitter Jesus. Maybe even a vindictive Jesus. Except...we would be wrong. Jesus loved His friends to the bitter end. He continued His plan to die so that they might live. He forgave all of them of their sin. He loved them when they were utterly unlovable. Wow.

What does forgiveness look like for us Christians?

  1. Be vulnerable with your friends and let them know you need them. Jesus did—so don’t feel you need to be overly independent. (Mark 14:34)
  2. Be a good friend, even if your friends are not. (Proverbs 17:17)
  3. Express your disappointments in a manner that lets your friend know you want the friendship to be stronger. (Ephesians 4:15)
  4. Forgive. A lot. (Matthew 18:21-22)
  5. Restore your friend. Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times. Peter did indeed do that, and he felt like a world class jerk. After Jesus died and rose again, He restored Peter by giving him three opportunities to express his love for Jesus (John 21:15-17).

    When a friend is remorseful, forgive and let them know they mean as much to you as before (if not more!). Friends who make it through hurt or betrayal become stronger friends indeed!

Only God never fails us.

The trouble with humans is that they will let you down from time to time, but we should keep in mind that God created us to be relational for a reason. We grow through our stumblings to find and become good friends. When dealing with people, we learn pretty quickly how to have patience, to forgive, and to extend grace. Perhaps this season in your life is designed to help you to grow in some of these areas or it's inviting you to lean in closer to the best friend you could ever have—Jesus! Either way, we are promised that God uses all of our circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28). There is meaning in the difficult and sad days. So be encouraged, my friend.



Have your friends turned their backs on you? Have you been in a place where you feel like your friends don’t care about what you’re going through? Have you been lonely because you don’t have any close Christian friends? How has God shown His faithfulness to you in this situation? Share your story HERE!


Writer: Rhonda Maydwell

Rhonda is an author, wife, mother, and mentor. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English and Religious studies. She loves studying God’s Word for truth and wisdom and uses it as a compass and roadmap for her own spiritual journey. Rhonda believes in sharing the Good News and the hope found in Biblical truths with others. She uses her writing and mentoring opportunities (often with a pinch of humor) to do just that.

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