Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poisonous Friends

I recently read Something Borrowed by Emmily Giffin. The storyline was really interesting, minus the whole stealing her best friend's fiance. Okay, so since thats really the ENTIRE plotline, let me clarify, the relationship between the two main female charactere was really interesting. Best friends for pretty much their entire lives, the two have always been close. I don't know how much the movie changes, and I'm curious to find out, but there were aspects of the relationship between the best friends that really made me think about some of the friendships in my life.

The friendship between Rachel(whose thoughts you are following) and Darcy(her best friend) is what I would think of when I think of poisonous. While they are extremely loyal and would do anything for each other, Darcy usually had to one-up Rachel on everything. When Rachel likes the class nerd in elementary school, Darcy decided she was going to like him, and then passed him a note asking which of the two he liked better, to which he checked off Darcy. At least that's what Darcy tells Rachel. Later, we find out that Darcy never even gave him Rachel as a choice! She would lie to Rachel to make everything in her life sound so much better. She would always say she did better on something. She was also the "prettier" one who always got everything handed to her on a silver platter.

Yes, there was a sense of jealousy on Rachel's part, but when half of what she hears about her best friend comes from her best friend and are lies, we can't entirely blame her jealousy. We also understand why they stay friends. Because Darcy continuously has stuck up for Rachel when things weren't always going great in her life. She was there defending her when people made fun of her. The two were best friends. They stuck by each other through everything!

Then on her 30th birthday, Rachel and Darcy's fiance Dex slept together and it throws everything into turmoil as the two fall in love while Dex and Darcy's wedding date looms ever closer. As all of this goes on, we start to see into Darcy and Rachel's past and the different wonderful things Darcy has done, as well as the ... not so nice things Darcy has done.

Reading this book did make me think of my own friendships and how we always have those poisonous friends. The ones that make us feel horrible about ourselves, or make us feel less than they are. The friends that lie and manipulate to get their way... Sometimes I just want to scream ENOUGH!!! I just want to forget I was ever friends with you!!! Of course, I never do this. I try to hang around them a little less, but even then I feel guilty. I can't help but think:"Maybe they are this way because no one has ever shown them the love of God..." I start to wonder what sort of Christ-like example I am setting if I am so willing to write them off for lying manipulating and stealing. After all, Jesus did not go out amongst the righteous, but amongst the sinners. We are all sinners and we should all be helping each other and holding each other accountable.

I can't help but wonder, and this is the main questionI have about this. If the poisonous friend(s) in our lives are not believers, how do we handle that? How do we go about trying to show them God when they refuse to see it, and in fact belittle everything we believe in? Are we still supposed to keep them in our lives even if they are helping us to move off the narrow path up the hill Difficulty and onto the paths taken by Formalist and Hypocrisy. (I apologize for the Pilgrim's Progress reference, but I have been reading this classic book, and find that it is still a very relatable book, even in modern times.) Where do we draw the line with our more poisonous friends? Should we leave them in our minds as acquaintances and allow them to believe whatever they choose?

So I'm left thinking the popular phrase that I first saw at a KMart in the 90s WWJD:What Would Jesus Do?

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