They say the only constant thing is change – and the same can be said of friendships. Over time, you may lose some friends in ways that may not even make sense. Sometimes, you even try to make things work but after several attempts at resurrecting some old friendships, it becomes apparent that you are flogging the proverbial dead horse. While it is true that you need to do what is in your power to save your friendships, it is also true that some may have run their course. In fact, God may intentionally remove some people from your life – and with good reason.
Why does God remove some people from your life?
God may remove some people from your life for three main reasons – destiny, seasons, and influence. If you have different destinies, it’s just a matter of time before the friendship ends. Additionally, some friendships are seasonal and will end at some point. Lastly, God may end some friends who may be bad company (wrong influence) in your life.
Let’s have a look at these in more detail below:
The first reason why God removes some people from your life is your destiny. In the book of Jeremiah 29:11, God makes it clear that has a unique plan for everyone. However, this plan may not always align with the plan he has for some of your friends. In such a case, going separate ways is always inevitable. A good example of this is Father Abraham. When God appeared to him, he commanded him to leave his countrymen and his father’s house and journey to the land that God would show him (Genesis 12:1). God then promised to bless him, make him into a great nation and use him to be a blessing to the nations that would come after him.
Abraham obeys God and leaves his country and his countrymen – but he decides to go with his Nephew. Shortly afterward, Lot’s men start quarreling with Abraham and this was the wake-up call for Abraham to leave Lot behind as well (Genesis 13). As a result of Abraham’s obedience, God blessed him with wealth, influence, and many descendants who later established the nation of Israel.
In a similar fashion, God may disconnect you from some people because of the different destinies you have. There is probably nothing wrong with them – it’s just that God has a different destiny for you. So if you see God removing some people from your life, don’t fret over it. Just accept the change and move in faith in anticipation of his blessing that is sure.
Everything – including relationships – has a reason and a season. The wise man Solomon uses a poetic description in Ecclesiastes 3 to describe how everything under the sun is seasonal. There are some friendships that are seasonal and once the season is up, the friendship may also be up. Some friends come so that you help them attain something and others come to help you. Some come just for companionship while others come as a connection to another person who God wants you to meet. For instance, God may bring someone into your life who may then be used to introduce you to the love of your life.
A good example of a seasonal friendship is the one between Paul and Barnabas. They were not only a good preaching team but they had been connected through a word of knowledge in Acts 13:2. The two had traveled together and preached all over as Paul mentioned in Acts 15:36. However, the Bible also says that the two sharply disagreed on whether or not they should allow Luke to accompany them for a mission trip and that is where they parted ways.
They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus (Acts 15:39)
Some friendships last a lifetime while others are seasonal. If a seasonal friendship dies, you can do everything in your power to resurrect it but it won’t work. It is best to allow such friendships to end so that each of you can go their separate ways – just like Paul and Barnabas did.
Another reason why God may remove some people from your life is that some of the people you hang around may be bad company. When writing to the church at Corinth, Paul admonished that bad company can corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33 ). Bad company can mean all sorts of things. Sometimes, it means that some friends will lead you into sin. For instance, if you hand around sexually immoral people, you might find yourself not only condoning but also participating in the sin. As such, God may remove such friends from your life to help you maintain your integrity.
Sometimes, bad company may not necessarily mean sinful friends. Some of your friends may be holding onto their integrity and even more committed to God than you are. However, they may have a different outlook on ministry and the things of God either because of their calling or because of their backgrounds/ training. For instance, a Calvinist may not agree in doctrine with a Methodist since they have different views on salvation and predestination. Similarly, a Pentecostal may not agree with a Baptist on the issue of speaking in tongues – especially in congregational worship. Such differences can easily strain friendships and even lead to the fading away of what used to be strong bonds of friendships.
So there you have it – three reasons why God removes people from your life. As we have seen, not all friendships can last a lifetime. Some are seasonal and once the season lapses, the friendship will inevitably fizzle out. Also, God may end relationships that are pulling you away from your destiny or those that are bad company (e.g. causing you to sin). So, the next time you lose a friend, pause and consider if you should try to mend the friendship or if it’s a sign from God that the friendship needs to end.