Should I cut people off?

So during my time away from God I made friends with some people that don’t live the way God wants us to live and I totally created relationships with them for the wrong reasons. I think I would seek out people who were “more sinful” than me (I realize how horibly I was judging others) so that I could think what I was doing wasn’t that bad. It was pretty messed up. However a part of me was like I can save them and since I know about God I can bring God to them and just by spending time with me those people will be able to get to know God. I was obviously really deceived because one of the things that made me turn back to the faith was when I realized that I couldnt save anyone if I myself was losing and damaging my own soul. Im starting to think this is a super sneaky way that the enemy tempts me by making me think i can help people who are far away from God when really the point is to get me into relationships with these people to keep me further from God. Doesn’t the Bible say that God always gives you a way out of temptation? What if the temptation is so good that you dont even realize its a temptation? Or maybe I was lying to myself and in my heart I knew. I gues my question is what should I do with these relationships now? I dont want to cut people off because I know it will hurt them and part of me is like Im their only chance at getting to know God. Im starting to think this is pride though and I’ve been asking God to free me of it. At what point should I draw the line with friends and ex boyfriends and what about new friends I make? Like is it ok to talk with them? Im starting to think that even when I talk to these people it makes my spirit anxious and my mind starts to think all sorts of things and it distracts me. However I’m scared im closing myself off and becoming a hermit and arent we supposed to help one another as well? This is something that kept me away from the faith too, I guess I knew I would have to let a lot off people go but I wanted to bring God to them. Idk if this makes any sense please ask for clarification if you need it :slight_smile: Another thing is important, I am really very weak when it come to standing up for myself and my beliefs like extremely weak. I literally just agree with what the other person says even if my heart thinks its wrong. This is definately one of my weak points. I also deleted a lot of my social media accounts and I keep thinking of how people are gonna feel when they notice Im not in their friends list any more because I know this can be a really hurtful feeling.

Also for example if I talk to a boy as friends and it makes him have impure thoughts about me should I stop talking to him since I am causing him to sin?

Also another thing, I try to pray for these people and it seems like they contact me after I pray for them. Im probably just reading to much into it.
Sorry if this was long but thank you for any advice! :slight_smile:

1 Like

If there is someone who causes you to sin, or is a “near occasion of sin”, you may need to keep it casual friends with them and don’t hang out one on one for now.

We do not have to “shun sinners”. We are supposed to be salt and light, to “let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. You advertise by your joy and radical love.

2 Likes

Are you in college?

1 Like

Yes I live at home though

Hi Daisy. I would encourage you to not overthink this. On a person-by-person basis, ask yourself "
Is the person going to be a detriment to me being the kind of person I want to be?" Then, conduct yourself accordingly. It may mean you need to separate yourself completely from the person. On the other hand, it may not.

There are different levels of friendship and association. I would discourage you from falling into a trap of believing everyone must be just like you before you can be friends. Spend some time reflecting and thinking about what your boundaries are. What are dealbreakers, and what are things you can overlook and still maintain a friendship. We are all different, so these parameters will be different for all of us. At the end of the day, you deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, and with your friends.

4 Likes

Ok I definatly cut back a lot and am pretty much only casual friends with everyone now. Do you think this is good enough? Sometimes I feel like I should just let it all go and focus on God completly or is this selfishness is disguise?

Friends are important. Just take it one day at a time.

1 Like

Ok, I was going to say that since Christmas break is coming up, it should be easy to take a break from your friends, but maybe in between exams and break, you can just avoid some contact with your friends while you strengthen yourself spiritually.

Then when school starts up again, be open about your return to the Faith, and see what happens with your friends. Some may leave you! Others may stay, and may even be curious about what you are doing.

Some, however, may stay and try to talk you out of returning. You will need to learn to walk away from them altogether. Just remember that they are not being good friends if they are not happy for you and instead try to talk you out of what you are doing.

They will be the ones who are being rude, so if it takes “rudeness,” iow, boundary-setting, on your part, it is perfectly ok. It will just feel extremely uncomfortable because you are not used to it, but the discomfort will pass.

ETA: if you need help with handling some situations, we can help if you don’t have anyone IRL to help you.

Welcome to CAF and most of all, welcome back to the Church!!!

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply! Most of the people I’m thinking of I know from outside of school but I guess the same still applies. I like what you said about how differwnt people will react. Another thing I struggle with is being open about my faith, I feel like everyone will leave me if I start being open about it which is probably not true but I need to get over it because even if they did leave that would be good because it means they werent really there to begin with. Its hard for me to let go of all my attachments to the world but im trying lol

1 Like

Do you actually like these people and enjoy spending time with them?
Do they like you?
Are you’re relationships equal and mutual ? Do you have each other’s back? Can you rely on each other for help?

2 Likes

Im not sure if I enjoy spending time with them. I dont think they are the most healthy honest and open relationships though. A common theme is that we’ll start a relationship and the other person is very needy and continues it even when I don’t do anything and then I feel bad and keep up the other end. I also think they may like me more than I like them. I also have a few friends who wanted to date me but I didnt want to and so we stayed friends but that type of friendship is kind of weird because there is that undertone to it. This is pretty much how all my friendships have been for years which is pretty sad but I’m realizing this isnt how its supposed to be. Im to blame a lot though because I have an extremly hard time being open and honest and so I hide my true feeling and beliefs and pretend to be what I think the other person likes.

Would you say you tend to attract “broken birds”? People who are hurting and you can be their caregiver/rescuer?

I can relate to that because when o was younger I had a couple of really toxic relationships with friends with tragic backstories because I thought be good for them.
Well, being young, naive and very little psychiatric training, I wound up being walked all over. :flushed:

OTOH, if you’re values are just different, you can still be friends with them

1 Like

Yes I definately do attract people like that haha Since I came back to the church I realized how sin is everywhere and now im afraid to even really be friends with people. Some of them are a near occasions of sin. I know I need to find more catholic friends but i feel bad about leaving these people behind especially now that I found God and these people seem like they need Him. I guess i have to work on being open about my faith first before I can do anything.

1 Like

Stay in your friends’ lives and just through the example of your own life, be a beacon for the Gospel.

You never know, you may win over a soul or two.

My best friend is a devout agnostic, and hates all religion due to his birth family being divided by a JW sister.

Yet he has more honesty, integrity and human empathy than many Catholics I know.

2 Likes

What type of example does he give?

Lots. Besides being very honest with money he owes, he and his wife volunteer to the elderly (meals on wheels, help in senior’s homes), in spite of being elderly themselves (78).

He’s been married to the same woman, his only wife, for all his life, in spite of being a person who would test any man’s patience. Yet I know Catholics with multiple “wives”.

He’s not perfect, nobody is. But he is someone you can trust to keep his word and pay his debts.

1 Like

Have you considered being open about the value of your faith around them? Maybe these will become mutually-beneficial friendships, if they are also attracted to a life of faith. You know Our Lord thirsts for those souls, too, after all. Dare to thirst for blessedness for them as He does. Who knows, they may wish to do better but don’t do so well around you because you encourage their weak side?

If not, you can probably count on them to provide the distance with no effort on your part.

In other words, don’t put distance between yourself and your friends. Instead, resist distance between yourself and living your faith. Those are the hard choices you need to focus on.

1 Like

It is a brave thing to ask this question. Our first allegiance is to God and so there is no facet of our lives that we shouldn’t be evaluating regularly to make sure it is in line with His will. Sometimes when we have made poor decisions, that evaluation is hard. When our poor choices have included others the outcome of that evaluation can be hurtful. I think that first, you have to remember that friendships have a natural season. It is OK for them. to run to their natural end when your lives change. It is OK to just let them settle into nice memories or people you used to know. Secondly, if they have led you to sin, or if you feel the temptation of sin when you are with them then - yes - you should totally just let the friendships quietly end. Lastly, if you are really trying to turn your life back over to the Lord, it is more than OK - it is GOOD - to decide to distance yourself from your old ways, habits and friends. You are a new creation! Pray for the grace to exit your old friendships without being hurtful and the blessing of new friendships!

2 Likes

Although I am somewhat older than you are, I am a fairly recent convert. I notice that the more I am trying to be serious about my faith, the more I notice how “worldly” some of my friends are. I won’t bring up religion around them, but I notice they are often mocking other people for their religion, etc. I just see them occasionally, but I don’t go out of my way to spend lots of time with them. It just feels like I have less in common with them.

2 Likes

Thank you this was really helpful! :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.