4.06.2009

No Trespassing

It’s one of the well-known rules: surround yourself with good friends. Because if we hang out with people who don’t respect the law, who have bad morals, or don’t care about their future, then they'll influence us, right? After all, isn't that what we've been told - to stay away from people like that?

Today one of my friends from church walked up to me and told me that a mutual friend was doing some things out of the normal – joining bad groups, promoting wrong things, etc. She then went on to tell me that he’d better stop; otherwise we would have to break off our friendship with him because of his potential bad influence.

But, even though I saw her point, I don’t completely agree. Because if friends are having problems, then I think that’s the worst time to leave them. I mean, what kind of friends are we if we leave when our friend needs us most – when our friend needs our advice most?

Even in the Bible, if you’re religious, there’s proof: Jesus didn’t just hang out with the good guys – he hung out with the prostitutes and the tax collectors. He didn’t shun them; he actually sought after them in a way. And I think perhaps we forget that, because sometimes we run away from people who don’t follow us, rather than staying, always patient – always waiting.

In addition, if religious people believe in God, how can they hate people whom God loves? If God does not hate the worst people within the world, how can they hate them? Sometimes I think that our idea of religion can blind us – we try to be good by leaving people who might impact us in a bad way, and yet, maybe that’s not quite what we’re supposed to do.

So whether we’re religious or not, we should give second chances. Someone who makes a mistake should not be forever condemned. We need to be there for our friends, not throw them away because they're doing something wrong. We need to help our friends not just in the good times, but also in bad. Because, in the end, we shouldn’t just remember that they can influence us, but also that we can influence them.

17 comments:

Falling Wings of Glass said...

So true. We can so easily become comfortable in the 'moral level' that we are in, that we don't realize that we are all equally depraved. Even though it is hard--you are right--we should reach out to those who are falling into dark territory. That is what being a friend is all about.

And Jesus didn't just 'not just hang out with the good guys,' he almost always hung out with those that were considered the 'bad guys.' Because they are the ones that really need help: they are the ones that really need a friend.

Well written, mariposa, well written. This is an important concept that I, at least, can easily loose sight of. Thank you.

twistingby said...

yeah, alot of people are blinded by religion, and because some people go to far with their religion, that makes everyone else hate it and get the wrong idea.
and who is anybody to say what is wrong or right, we don't know why certain people do what they do, like drugs or stealing or whatever, but if anyone needs help don't shun, help!

Tunafish said...

I agree, in Timothy 1, Paul says that the Bible is for those who are sinners, those who need it. It's good to help when people need it most and remind them of GOD's love. But in all fairness, I'd still remain cautious and tread carefully. Great thoughts!

Okie said...

Fabulous post.

While it's true that we shouldn't necessarily seek out people of lower moral quality when we choose our friends, that doesn't mean we should shun them as members of the human family.

Furthermore, if we have a current friend who begins to make incorrect choices, we should NOT shun them.

If a friend is engaged in dangerous activity that could harm them physically, we will surely warn them off that activity and stand by them and comfort them if they're hurt. Why then should we turn and run if we see our friend engaged in activity that will give them moral/spiritual wounds? Why should we not warn them and try to console and help them if disaster occurs?

What we should not do is...we should neither condone nor participate in the activity.

There may indeed come a point where the activities of friendship may wane. A friend may continue to engage in bad activities...which can result in changes in personality, behavior, etc. Over time, the friends may grow apart and all you become is a good influence and an old friend with outstretched arms ready to help on the road back.

I've seen this in friends that engaged in illicit drug activities. My first response was the "what are you doing", and "come on, don't do that". My next was to keep inviting them on our old haunts/activities. We grew apart over time and eventually had less and less in common. Finally, years later, he began working through recovery and was glad to have me there as an old friend. We don't have as much in common anymore and we're not as close as we were once upon a time...but we were both glad to have that open relationship available to turn to.

Savy said...

I totally agree. I've always gone for the "underdog". I always make friends with the shy kid in the back or the "freaks" and the "weirdos". I'm always the one to try and get info on mean people and see what makes them tick. See what makes them human. There's always a reason behind the decisions people make. I think we forget that sometimes the reason people make bad choices is because there's no one "good" to influence them because they're just avoided by everyone.

About friendship: You should always help your friends because that's what they're there for, right? To have someone to share their problems with, a shoulder to lean on, someone to help you stay on the right path.

Again, nice post. <3

•¦Amy¦• said...

Very true. Amazing post.

Today actually I was talking about that, in a way.

I have one friend who fell in with "the wrong crowd" and ended up with a few problems of her own, but I couldn't leave her...what would that do? Make her feel worse, she'd lose an old friend. We should be an example of goodness to everyone, and if we leave someone who's going through tough times all we're doing is giving them reason to dislike people who don't do the "unacceptable things". But if we stay friends with them and give them an example, and let them know that we're worried and we care we do so much more good.

I have another friend who hangs out with another "bad crowd". But she doesn't do any of the things they do, and wants more than anything for her friends to understand what it's doing to them. She loves them all and knows that deep down they're good people and just need an exapmle.
That's why she hangs out with them, and shows them that she can be as cool and have as much fun without doing what they do. In hopes, that they'll stop and better themselves.

You're absolutely right. That's what Jesus did he came into the world to save sinners not to hang out with the people who were already good. He helped those with troubles to overcome them.

We should take that into considderation when friends and family have hard times like that and fall into bad habits.

After all, I believe that if we weren't put on this earth to better it, ourselves, and the people in it with us, then there is no real reason to live. We're better off gone and forgotten.

You always inspire the best in people :] Please continue to do so.

jEeRo said...

The saying 'dun judge a book by it's cover' applies to people too..but honestly how many of us can really do that?..we judge others from their appearance when who are we to judge others?..does it mean that a person who has tattoos/smoke/drink is bad influence?..does it mean that a so-called good person doesnt have an evil side?..will there come a time we stop judging others?..

its just strange we are often more willing to help strangers than friends..have u notice that?..we tenda shun friends in-need knowing at times they just need a listening ear..is it cuz we do not know how to help so we avoid/pretend things are ok?..

thkx for your wonderful comment gal..i'd give it all up for love too..

Rafé said...

beautifully said...relationship can be the most important thing in the world sometimes...

plus, there might be some hidden meaning in my post...I'm not sure...and I hope you're doing well too

Bronte said...

i needed that thankyou

:)

James said...

I understand what you mean. Maybe you are right about the love and hate thing.
I must say that your blog is one of my favorites.
Now, on this post, I have experienced this sort of pain. I tried to kill myself this year, and had friends that were close to me. When I needed my friends most, they left me. I was supposedly doing bad things, like taking a little too much pain pills or Advil or my medication, or thinking about bad things. It was such a horrible time in my life. I wanted to die. Yet, they didn't stay with me. It only continued to further corrupt me into a horrible person. Yet the friends who stayed, the ones that were able to help me, have become some of my closest friends that I have ever had. I totally understand what you are saying in this post. I think you should try to show your friend what is happening. DO NOT SHUT THEM OUT COMPLETELY! They need you more than you know. Give them chances, and be strong. But when they push it too far, I would suggest showing them what has happened. You make me think. I find your blog excellent. When you get the chance, I would love to have an intellectual conversation with you.

milai said...

Hello. How have you been doing? I hope you are doing fine. How are you faring in your reviews / exams? The best of luck to you.

I agree with you. A true friend is someone who will never desert you at a time that s/he is needed most.

Sorry for not dropping by here for a while. I got a little busy with work. And thanks for the comment on my blog.

Happy Easter, Mariposa! Fly high!

Cursed♪♫ said...

where u lost ?????? no comments since ages :D

Michael Kent said...

Your advice goes two ways. When there is someone on the edge of the table. That is when he needs our hand for support the most. To keep in stable, to hold him still, to pull him back and prevent a freefall.

If there were signs I was headed in the wrong direction and my friends just abandoned me--then it would hasten the process--if my friends step it up and bring love and understanding out--their GOOD influence on me can help me become a better person.

Influence goes both ways, in both directions. You influence your friends, your friends influence you. Good and bad--sure there are times to jump ship and abandon a bad apple but not in all cases!

^_^
Hi Hi Mariposa

The Talking Mime said...

I love this, your posts are very inspirational.

HATE LOVE said...

amazing post...just awesome

C.L. Dawn Yang said...

Girl you surely got beautiful heart, let your light shine...love this post

Alice said...

I totally agree, if you've got a good friend whose going through a rough time, you've gotta stick by them.
But on the other hand, if they're doing something illegal they could suck you in, too.
One of my good friends started shoplifting a couple months ago, and I was with her when she got caught.
I got taken in too, and almost arrested, just for being with her.
So while you don't want to abandon your friend, you have to look after yourself as well, because he/she won't be.

Love your blog! Following.