7 Friends That Will Ruin Your Life

Choose your friends wisely. They will impact who you are in the present and who you will become in the future.


I remember the night so clearly. I was driving down a dark, narrow two-lane road with the gas pedal to the floor. Intoxicated. It was the night my life hit rock bottom. I wasn’t man enough to throw my truck in front of a tree. But if I happened to lose control, then so be it.

How did I get to this point? One word: friends. Don’t get me wrong. I owned my actions. My friends didn’t put me behind the wheel. I was responsible for the mess that was my life.

But the man behind the steering wheel that night allowed the actions of his friends to influence the man God created him to be. “Bad company corrupts good morals.” These are the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. But the words never applied to me. Or so I thought.

Looking back, I realize my naivety. The words did apply to me. Truth isn’t selective. It doesn’t pick and choose. And the truth in Paul’s words is a warning for us. Your friends WILL shape your life.


In fact, friendships contribute more to the man or woman you are going to be (or have become) than any factor outside of God. Bold words, I know.

But this one reality might change the trajectory of your life. My prayer for this post is that one person will see that their friends are shackling them from becoming the man or woman God created them to be. And they will make some changes.

Your friends can challenge you to achieve things you never imagined. Your friends can also cripple your dreams, leaving you on a two-lane road feeling hopeless.

Here are 7 friends that will ruin your life.

1.) The “tells you what you want to hear” friend 

These friends say exactly what you want them to say. They do exactly what you want them to do. To put it bluntly, they are groupies, not friends. Groupies think their respective group, player, etc. hung the moon. The person they admire could open hand slap an old lady on a cane, and a groupie would find some way to justify it.

These friends don’t really love you. They are infatuated with something you have. Popularity. Looks. Athleticism. But they aren’t concerned with pointing you to God and challenging you to be the best man or woman you can be.

Friends who love you and want you to succeed point out flaws.

Friends who love you and want you to succeed will point out your inconsistencies.

They don’t enjoy doing this. But, with love and grace, they step into difficult conversations because they can’t bear to watch you continue down a path that might lead to destruction.

2.) The “not that serious about God” friend

You know these friends. They usually go to worship on Sunday. They might go on a foreign mission trip. But they never give God their lives. These friends are lukewarm. They think God is ok with having some of the pie.

These friends are toxic because they model a dangerous approach to Christian living. The approach that says status quo Christianity is ok. There is no reason to be a Jesus freak. Jesus freaks don’t enjoy life. So go to worship on Sunday. Read the Bible occasionally. But leave a piece of the pie for yourself.

And the moment you try to go “all in” for God, you will meet fierce resistance. Believe me. I have been there.

Several times in my teenage and early adult years, I wanted to go all in for God. But my friends weren’t there. And they saw my attempt to go all in as a threat to our Friday and Saturday nights. So, I heard statements like these:

“Are you really going to stop partying, getting drunk, etc.? You know there is no way you will stick to it? In two weeks, you will be back to your old self.”

And my friends were right. After a few weeks, I was back to my old self.

As long as “not that serious about God” friends are close enough to you to ask these questions, you will never give your full allegiance to God.

3.) The “no ambition” friend

Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.Francis Chan

These friends have ambition. But only towards things that don’t matter. Like completing two seasons of their favorite Netflix show in one day. If you mention Xbox, movies, the opposite sex, or the game plan for Friday and Saturday night, these friends perk up like the time I poured water on my roommate when he was sleeping.

But if you mention serving in the community, studying for a test, or attending a Bible study, you might as well be talking to a brick wall.

Surround yourself with people who want to make the world a better place. Surround yourself with people who want to do well in areas that matter.

You were created in the image of God. This means you were created to learn, grow, and give. You were created to make the world a better place and do things with excellence. Surround yourself with people who get this…and practice it.

4.) The “attention must be on me” friend

Spotlight on me. All. The. Time. Do you have friends like this?

These friends are plagued with jealousy and bitterness. They are extremely insecure. And here’s the big one…their lives are plagued with drama. They live a real life soap opera. And most of these friends have no idea why drama always follows them.

Here’s why.

These friends sell their souls to the gods of attention and spotlight. These gods are ruthless. They require everything. And the gods of attention and spotlight kick you to the curb for their next victim once they destroy your worth and value.

These friends are toxic because they are always takers. They take your energy. They take your joy. They take your time. And they will never celebrate your successes. They can’t. The gods of spotlight and attention won’t allow them to celebrate you. It means they take a backseat.

True friends are givers. They celebrate you. Do your friends do these things?

True friends are givers. They celebrate you. They are ok with taking a back seat to you. They listen to you. Surround yourself with givers.

5.) The “everyone else is doing it” friend

If I had a nickel for every time I heard (or spoke) this phrase as a teenager and young adult, I would be writing this post from an oversized yacht in the Pacific. The “everyone else is doing it” friend justifies every action. Nothing is their fault.

“Yeah, I was doing that, but Jill made me do it.”

“Johnny actually sent the text, I just wrote it. So, it’s really his fault.”

You get the idea? Not only do these friends refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, they also refuse to stand for anything. They go with the flow. They roll with the crowd. They are influenced heavily by peer pressure. If the crowd is doing it, they are doing it.

Here’s why these friends are toxic. As they follow the crowd, they will encourage you to do so as well. As they refuse to take accept responsibility for their actions, they will encourage you to do so as well.

You need friends who are confident in their identity. They are content in Christ. They are steadfast in their convictions. Because even if you are the strong one, it only takes one moment of weakness for this friend to take you down a road you never intended to travel.

6.) The “sees the worst in everything” friend

We live in a world where cynicism is the default posture of the majority. It’s rare to find someone who looks at the world through a positive lens. Even Christian leaders and preachers (myself included, at times) present God as an angry cynic who can’t wait to destroy the world.

God’s default posture is optimism. Your friends should see the world through God’s lens.

But this is not God’s default posture. He looks at the world through the lens of restoration, redemption, and hope. You can’t look at the world through this lens unless you have an optimistic worldview.

Negative people are exhausting. They drain your life and enthusiasm. They leave you feeling like the world, in general, and your life, in particular, are hopeless.

If you have friendships that drive you deeper into cynicism and hopelessness, it’s time to consider ending the relationship. The world is how you see it. You can choose to see good. You can choose to see bad. Your friends should choose the former because your friends love Jesus.

Find those friends. And cling to them.

7.) The “doesn’t know how to forgive” friend

These friends make a list of every person who disses them, shames them, or shows them up. And they check it twice. They spend a lot of their time and energy seeking revenge. They wade in a pool of bitterness and resentment, drowning out any notion of forgiveness and grace.

“If Jesus was in my shoes, he would do the same thing!” This is a typical response from these friends.

These friends are cool with you…until you do something to belittle them. Then you go on the hit list with everyone else. Grace has a short leash. Oh, they want God to extend them grace, but they don’t believe God expects them to extend the same level of grace and forgiveness.

Find friends who model forgiveness and refuse to build a wall of bitterness over their heart. This is a rare virtue in our culture. So, if you find someone modeling gospel-centered forgiveness, hang on to them.


These words aren’t a call to cut ties with every friend who exhibits any of these qualities. Instead, I hope and pray you will seriously consider the people you allow to shape your life. The perfect friend doesn’t exist, but we shouldn’t settle when it comes to friendships. Too much is at stake.

I think about the friends in my life the night I hit bottom and the friends in my life today. When I sit down with friends today, we aren’t talking about the hottest girl, the latest gossip, or how drunk we were last weekend. We talk about stuff that matters. And that almost always includes Jesus. My friends today challenge me to love my wife more intimately, love my kids more passionately, and love God more fully.

Choose your friends wisely. They will impact who you are in the present and who you will become in the future.

By Frank Powell



​Often we want to present ourself to others as we have it all together, sometimes we even deceive ourselves that we do. But when we are hurting or struggling, the ones we seek for comfort or counsel are those who’ve been there and understand, not the “perfect” people. Broken people who have gotten through and healed can offer compassion, understanding and wisdom that others cannot. Perhaps the most valuable thing about us that we can offer the world is ourselves, real and transparent. Perhaps our mistakes, failures, pain and struggle are more valuable than our successes, because they empower us to have an eternal impact loving and helping others right where they are. If you hide who you are and what you’ve been through from people, how will they know you are someone THEY can go to when they are hurting or struggling?

Kathy Kleine Mason

Resolving Conflict


Step back and slow down

  • Most of us repeat unhelpful behaviors in conflicts because we are unaware of what we are doing
  • We can only change habits through awareness
    Plan what you want to say to avoid saying something that will escalate a conflict


Be clear about your intentions and goals for the conversation

  • If your most important goal is to win, blame or change the other party, the conflict will probably escalate, no matter what skills you use
  • If your intention is to blame or change others, you don’t learn how to prevent the problem from repeating itself
  • Only begin a conversation about a conflict in order to learn something new, express your views and feelings, or to problem-solve.

Listen first to understand—ask questions to explore the other person’s story

  • If others feel listened to they are more likely to try to understand you
  • Leverage for change comes from understanding, not from convincing them you are right
  • It is rare for people to feel truly listened to and still experience the conflict as negative
  • Be aware of your internal barriers to really listening, such as thinking you are right and strong feelings about the subject matter

Express strong feelings without blame

  • Strong feelings make it impossible for us to really listen
  • Use “I-statements” to express what you’re feeling
  • Be sure to state a feeling (as opposed to a judging statement) after saying “I feel”
  • Be sure to carefully describe the other party’s behavior without adding evaluations to it
  • The key is to be completely honest without blaming the other

Be aware of how your own self image might make you more defensive

  • Avoid an all or nothing, black and white view of yourself—in this way you will become more open to feedback

Take responsibility for your assumptions

  • Be willing to let go of your interpretation—believing that our beliefs and conclusions about others are “the truth” creates a lot of conflict
  • Share with others what you see as the raw data and how you interpret it (your thought process)
  • When others speak about their conclusions, ask how they came to those conclusions


Find common ground

  • Be sure to note areas of agreement as well as areas of disagreement
  • Identifying areas of agreement reduces defensiveness


Explore what is most important the other person (by listening and asking questions out of curiosity)

  • People do not usually enter a conflict by stating what is most important to them
  • You can only problem solve if you know what the other person really wants
  • People usually enter a conflict with only one solution (theirs) to a problem


Let go of the myths about conflict

  • Conflict is not a contest—don’t make it one
  • Conflict is not always negative


Remember the four principal approaches to conflict

  • Acknowledge the conflict
  • If you resist, they will push even harder
  • To acknowledge does not mean to agree
  • Be willing to change


When initiating a conversation about a conflict

  • Ask the other party if they are willing to have a conversation
  • Tell them the topic and the importance of the conversation to you in maintaining a good relationship
  • Allow them to save face

Be open to learning new information

7 Things to Stop Expecting From Others


1. Don’t expect them to always do the right thing.

This is the greatest way we set ourselves up for failure. People won’t always do the right thing. They won’t always make the right call. Sometimes they don’t have your interests at heart. Sometimes they simply make mistakes.

2. Don’t expect them to agree with you.

People, especially your true friends, won’t agree with you just for the sake of agreeing with you. If they have a differing opinion, they’ll debate you for sure.

3. Don’t expect them to be mind readers.

It’s an enormous mistake to assume that people, your friends, your family, your partner, to be able to read your mind. If you have expectations, you need to make them clear. They can’t read your mind.

4. Don’t expect them to understand you.

You should be yourself because you want to be, not because you want to impress anyone else. No one has to like or understand you. Instead, you should focus on liking and understanding yourself.

5. Don’t expect them to always stay the same.

People change over time. One of the greatest mistakes you can make is assuming that they’re going to remain exactly as they were a year, 5 years, or 15 years ago. If you constantly bring up the past and assume old behaviors will continue, you’ll push them away.

6. Don’t expect them to always have it all together.

We all struggle in life from time to time. Don’t expect people to always have their lives together. There were probably times where you didn’t, and it’s great to have the support of other people to grow as an individual.

7. Don’t expect them to follow the golden rule.

But you still always should.