If We Want To Be Christian We Must Sever Ties With Old Friends

There’s a lot of confusion out there surrounding who we keep as friends, and who to interact with as Christians. What I’m about to present may seem unusual and cult like to some. But the severing of ties from one’s old list of friends, and in some cases, family members also, is often not an option.

The difference between a cult and what I’m proposing, is that a cult wants you to run from your family to control you, whereas Christ invites us to exchange our bad friendships that we may grow closer to him, and be liberated not a slave to the mind control of another human being.

When a drug addict involved in gangs came to me with his lamentations that he wanted to start a new life in Christ, I told him he needs to sever the old ties. He must sever these old friendships if he’s going to succeed in severing the ties of his passions which are the next obstacle to overcome.

Most Christians, if we are serious about our faith, and are headed in the right direction, will see these old friendships die off. They never last, because someone whose mind has been freed is no longer under the control of their friends. Their friends, no longer able to exercise control of what their friends behaviour should look like, eventually walk away. Why? Because there’s nothing in common there anymore.

Either the friend or family member further persecutes them, or simply fades away over time. It’s never a case of waking up one day and directly saying “I’m no longer your friend”. No, it’s a slow process where you see that person less often than normal, until one day you wake up and say to yourself, “Gee, ya know…I’ve only now realized…I haven’t heard from that guy in 10 years“.

Let me explain the slow process a little bit more. Some friends hang around because they want to prove to you their tolerance of your new found faith. Some see your newly discovered faith as a mere phase. They’re willing to put up with it for a while. They’re out to prove to themselves also that they can be good tolerant people without Christianity.

They see themselves as enlightened human beings superior to religion. But, 0vertime, being a witness to your diligence in prayer and faith, their conscience becomes pricked, and no longer able to keep a conversation with you that they would have once enjoyed. The result? they dissolve like Asprin in water.

For example, for us men it’s, “would you look at the tits on her” as you sit at the local bar downing a beer. Both of you jeer and discuss what you’d like to do with her on any given night. Afterwards you laugh. But the old friend can no longer hold this type or conversation with you. His dirty words are met with silence from you, and suddenly there’s “tension” in the air.

The funny thing about this is…they’re actually the ones severing ties with you not the other way around. Yet, to achieve a certain level of spirituality and closeness to God, some weak people find it necessary to walk away from others. It’s at least important for a time, because having one foot in the world and one foot in the Church rarely ever works. In fact, there is no rarity about it, it just doesn’t work.

I’m not saying to avoid the world for that’s impossible. Jesus kept company with bad sinners, but it wasn’t for long, and those he called to follow him, begun a process of change, before he called them friends. We simply can’t avoid the presence of everyone, but we can avoid making bad friendships.

Leaving our old way of life for a new life, exchanging our old friends with new ones, is absolutely necessary if those friendships are a hindrance to our repentance. Guess what? 99% of them are.

Don’t feel sorrowful about being alone, which in itself brings new challenges, but made easier by the Grace and company of God, His Mother and the Angels. Even though the church encourages community, it too can be a lonely place. I’ve never had clerical friends or lay Christian friends, but because of the nature of my vocation, it turned out that such mingling isn’t good for me anyway. In fact, it’s worse than mingling with the world at times.

Say hello to your old friends, your new church community, but don’t forget to keep a healthy distance.

God bless

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