I finished up college a few years ago and find I have nothing in common with my college friends anymore. Back then we were friends because we lived together, we enjoyed going to parties and out to the bars. Now, I am not into those things. My friends still are, and they live with their boyfriends, have children before marriage, etc. I do not agree with these things, but I know I am not perfect either. Is it wrong to not want to be friends with these people anymore, not because I think I am “better”, but more because I feel like we don’t have anything in common… I kind of feel like I’m on my high horse thinking I’m too good to hang out with them. I know I’m not , but that’s probably how it would seem to an outsider. Am I supposed to remain in their life to be a good example? But I mess up too, of course, so would that be a waste of time? I just don’t like listening to their situations regarding livin with their boyfriends, etc. etc. etc.
I’m IN college, and I’m having trouble with that, too! Only they’re all atheists…
What I do is that I’m usually “too busy” to get together with them. Sure, I’ll exchange a few emails or something, and replying, I usually focus on what is good and ignore the sinful (good practice for our own mental battles anyway). If they ask, I’ll tell them the truth about abortion, marriage, whatever, but I try not to argue.
Your circumstances help in avoiding your “friends”, you’re out of college already, so obviously you’ll have your own life now. They’ll understand how you no longer have anything in common. Religion doesn’t have to be the only reason why you’re parting ways with them.
As for me…I can’t avoid my “friends” forever…:rolleyes:
Have you heard the saying “Bad company corrupts good morals”? You have an obligation to yourself to sever ties with those who might harm you spiritually. It doesn’t mean you are uppity or conceited. It doesn’t mean you don’t still care for them. It just means that you have a right to protect yourself from the near occasions of sin. Pray for their conversion. Maybe you could even write to them and testify about how Christ has changed your life for the better. But also, find yourself good christian friends; those you can rejoice with in good times and confide in when times are hard. We christians especially need friends who can support us.
very, very true, that saying. I worried about it when I was stuck in these three honors classes (all with the same students) for a whole semester. I stuck with it because the classes were what I needed, as well as very interesting. This was the class where I “bonded” with some “friends”.
But the truth is…I grew stronger in my faith by speaking up more than what I normally would do, and defending certain truths on the classes’ online forum. I know that different people have different end results, and I wouldn’t recommend this to other people.
Yes, “bad company corrupts good morals”, but one can also be like the “gold that’s tested in fire”
It’s time to make new friends who think like you do.
It doesn’t mean that you think you are superior to your old friends, it’s just that you are mature enough to notice that you have nothing in common with them anymore, and do not wish to pursue the things that they do. That is wisdom.
Well, like you, I’m a few years removed from the college scene. Most of my friends (who were few, as I am a solitary type in general – or at least I was until I started giving birth to my “roomates”! ;)) were from the Catholic Newman Center. I’m only close with one of them anymore; the rest just drifted away as normally happens, so I don’t have a lot of direct experience like yours.
To respond to your question, though I don’t disagree with the points others have made, I would perhaps view your situation differently. Essentially, I think that we need to “drop” those who threaten our quest for holiness (that is, those whose weaknesses are also occasions of sin for us), while doing our best to set a holy example for the rest. Now, from what you say, I don’t gather that you share the weaknesses of these “bad” friends, so I would encourage you to maintain whatever level of contact your life allows you to now. After all, when the Pharisees gave Jesus a hard time for eating with sinners, He told them (basically) that the sinners needed Him and He was there to help them. It is possible to avoid the “sinners” in our lives for the wrong reason, that we don’t want to risk" getting dirty with those who are beneath us" (pride, in other words), rather than doing what Jesus did and try to “clean the dirty.”
Of course, you’re not perfect and you won’t try to present yourself to them that way, but maybe some of your “light” will illuminate some of what is dark for them. It is good for them to see you rise again after your falls, too. However, if you do start having occassion of sin problems related directly to them, then you will need to sever ties as gracefully as possible.
I hope this helps. God bless you!
Jesus Christ mingled with people who could have been stoned to death.
Of course, we should not be near the occasion to sin, but we can accept the fact that humans are sinners and embrace that. Just not the sin.
Love thy neighbor and Love your Lord.
Simple. You can do both.
No, it isn’t wrong to want friends you have more in common with. People continue to grow and change throughout their lives. You have grown in a different direction from your current friends.
When I returned to the Church after being away for years I realized I needed a new group of friends. I worried about losing the friends I had at the time, but honestly, I haven’t missed them nearly as much as I thought I would. Once they understood my religious beliefs it was clear we didn’t have a lot in common anymore, anyway.
God is good and to all things there is a season. I think as young adults - a grandma talking here - we go through a lot of craziness, I know I sure did when I was in the Air Force. You go through a lot of changes in life including friends. You will have one or two really good friends that will be there throughout life with you, others will come and go. It is OK.
I have a dear friend back home, that I would love to call and talk with. However, though I have prayed, even when we are there, God has not made the time or connection. The reason I belive is this:
Her daughter was born with a leg missing and some fingers due to her dad’s handling of agent orange in Nam. The daughter is an awesome young lady, really smart, and full of life. You know what my friend said - abortion is OK, my dauther should have been aborted, never born, her life… well you get the picture. There is such a hardness in her heart right now, and all I feel is sorrow and have no idea of how to talk with her now.
So at some time in our lives, God will bring us back together and the words will be there. So be at peace there is a time and season and when it is time the words will be there and so will your old friends.
It gets easier to “give-up” bad people when you’re married, my wife was good at helping me with that…LOL…j/k
I think sometimes you have to ask yourself about influence and offer positive influences to your friends, allow them to decide if they want to be around you. It’s kind of a psychological reversal, but it makes the decision theirs and not yours.
For example, if you have a friend that wants you to go do something on a Sunday morning, you can always say, “Thanks for the invitation, but I MUST attend Mass. I’d love for you to attend with me, would you like to come?” Or it could be something else like, “Gee…there’s a group of us from my Church that are meeting at Starbuck’s for cofee; how about we go there instead of to the nightclub?”
In these ways, you’re politely telling your friends what you’re going to do and allows them to make decisions for themselves. The most difficult part is sticking by your principles, but allow them the freedom to be positively influenced by you or decide to do what they want without judgement from you…
I’m not sure if this helps at all, but I hope it does.
My best friend isn’t the most moral girl in the world, but i would never think of dropping her firendship. She is a Christian, but not really a practising one.
I love her to death though, she’s been such a support to me in hard times and has never said anything against me wanting to be a consecrated virgin. In fact she’s told me she supports it if it makes me happy.
I think all the good she does far out weighs anything else. Just because our morals are different does not mean i should drop a true gift of a friendship. I think God would shake his head if I turned my nose to a truely good person.
Have these friends been there for you in hard times, have they ever offered true support to you? In other words, have they at least been good friends to you? If yes, then wouldn’t it be sad to sever these ties because you have different life styles? Maybe by looking at you they’ll be inspired to change their ways.
I don’t believe that bad morals from one person will corrupt another. I have my morals and am set in them. If I hang around someone who has questionable morals, it’s not going to affect me. In fact i’ll say a prayer that maybe I’ll be a good example to them.
We can weed bad people out of our lives. No one says we must maintain our friendships if they are spiritually harmful or present an occasion of sin.
If you want to rise spiritually, sometimes you need to prune.
Continue to pray for these people , for conversions of the heart.
You don’t have to give them up entirely, you know.
Just spend less time with them, but when you do spend time with them, make it an occasional thing, and a “quality time” kind of thing.
You might want to spend an afternoon once a month with them going shopping and having a nice lunch together. That’s not excessive, and don’t be shy about mentioning that you are a committed Christian. Don’t be “preachy,” cuz that annoys people, but just let it drop into the conversation somehow.
And find yourself several devout believers as friends for your more regular company.
I have friends who are fornicators, friends who are gay, etc.
But I don’t immerse myself in their company. I love them, spend a little time with them every now and then, call them once in a while, and, most importantly, I pray for them too. And they all know that I am a committed Catholic Christian and they’re fine with it.
If being around these friends tempts you, don’t hang around them. If they don’t, I wouldn’t deliberately sever ties with them. Sounds like they need a good example in their lives, and you might be it. Finding other friends that share your faith is never a bad idea. Jesus hung around Pharisees and sinners, and He also hung around just His disciples. We can never be a Christian influence on the world if we associate only with others who share our faith. Then those who don’t share our faith would never learn about it. I think we need a mix of friends.
you are invited to read and comment on my blogs:
bantugan.blog.com regarding experiences of the World Youth Day
kadasig.blog.com about experiences with God’s presence in our lives
sangkay.blog.com which is the site for our Holy Friendship Society, a community of people who accept God’s offer of Divine Friendship (Jn 15: 12 - 17)
We all are part of different “communities” of friends. We may work with one “community”, worship with another “community”, commute with yet a different “community”, go to classes with another “community” and visit the homes / hang out with members of yet some other “community”.
They may or may not be “bad” friends. But we are entitled and allowed to “adjust” the mix of “communities” that we spend time with.
I used to be on the receiving end of some criticism from friends because I didn’t eat lunch with them. I would just quietly disappear. I didn’t make any excuses or explanations.
One day someone came up to me and said “I know what you do at lunch time.” I gave them a wink.
It must have been a big deal to them, because the speaker was not even in my department.
… I used to slip away and go to noon Mass…
I struggled with this one for a while, too. I didn’t really drop my bad friends, they are still friends but just not as close. The scripture about Jesus being accused as being a friend of sinners always had a special place with me - thank God for good people who are the friends of sinners today. In a closer inspection of my own life I discovered that the only difference between myself and my friends who don’t go to church is that I go to church and strive to serve God. But I am still no better than them, it is because of God’s grace that I’m in His Church. That being said, there is a lot of truth in the old saying that “birds of a feather flock together” and that’s why I really enjoy hanging out with people who have similar interests…but my strong recommendation is that you don’t totally drop the “bad” friends!