“She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.”
Friendship is not discovered in the good times, but it is discovered in the battle. There are many people with whom you become friendly that you will think they are your friend, but you will discover them to be a friendly facade in the day of battle. The battle is the greatest revealer of friendship that separates the opportunistic facade friends from true friends.
Everyone has unfortunately discovered this truth in the hardest of times. In the verse above, Judah discovered that those who were supposed to be her friend were mere enemies cloaked as friends. It was when Judah was in battle that her tears ran down her cheeks because her friends “dealt treacherously with her,” and they became her enemies. You will discover many “friends” when times are good who are nothing more than an enemy; they are people who claim to be your friend, but in reality are simply an opportunist who played themselves as your friend. Let me give you several pieces of advice on how to deal with these “friends” who turn on you in your hardest times of life.
First, good times always attract “friends.” It is easy to find friends when you have something to offer people, but it is when you have nothing to offer that you find out who are your true friends. One piece of advice I would like to caution you about is to be careful who you give your heart to in the good times because your friendship with them has yet to be tested. Many people have given ammunition to their enemies to attack by opening their hearts to people who they thought were a friend. Just because someone calls themself a friend in the good times doesn’t make them a friend.
Second, friends are discovered in adversity. It is when the battle comes that you discover your true friends. You will be surprised who is a true friend. I’m always amazed by people who call themselves friends but are always questioning you and your actions. I am not at all saying that you should condone sin, but I am saying that friendship is not in question in the battle. The true friend doesn’t test the winds of popularity to determine if they are going to be your friend. The true friend will stand with you in the battle, even when standing with you is not popular.
Third, it will be those who were once close to you who will cause the greatest hurt in your times of adversity. The reason it hurts so much when people turn on you is because you confided in them and thought they were a friend. Don’t be disheartened because those closest to you have become an enemy; it has happened to the best of people, and it happened to Jesus Christ.
Fourth, don’t retaliate to those who have turned on you; you might find them to be a friend later in life. Give people a chance to make a mistake. Many people have come around in time and realized that they were wrong to fight against you, but you will make them your enemy if you fight against them. I know that the natural instinct is to fight back at them and try to hurt them the way they have hurt you, but that will only cause them to be an eternal enemy. Life is too short to make friends your enemy. Pray for those who are hurting you, be good to them because one day you can be a true friend to them when they are going through their own battle.