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Best Friend is Lying

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Part 1óI think my best friend is lying to me about something, but Iím not sure. Iíve prayed about it, and Iíve asked God to show me if she is lying. Iíve confronted her a few times, and she keeps assuring me that sheís telling the truth, but what sheís saying is so unbelievable. What should I do?óReally Confused, 14, NY


Shayna Answers:

Dear Really Confused,

Unfortunately, I don’t know if your best friend is lying, so I can’t tell you whether or not to believe her. The trust we exhibit in our friendships is specific to our experience and our faith in individual people. This faith, like our faith in God, is based on our relationship with another person and that persons behavior in the past.

Remember, faith means being “certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11: 1). So, if you have faith in your friend, you’re probably willing to believe and support her—no matter how unbelievable this one thing is. But because this isn’t the case, it’s important for you to think about why you’re having a hard time believing her.

If, as you say, your best friend normally doesn’t lie and has assured you that she is telling the truth, do you think she’s lied to you in the past? Would she want to deceive you or to hurt you now?

When people lie, they usually have difficulty being consistent and genuine in the stories they tell. The fact that you two are best friends suggests that at some point your relationship was based on truth, right?

Sometimes our own selfishness or insecurity can influence how we react to other people. Ask yourself, Why is it so hard for me to believe her story? If what your best friend has told you is threatening your happiness, another friendship, or even a potential romantic interest, you need to be aware of the role that your feelings are playing in this situation.

If you find that what she’s saying is somehow hurting or upsetting to you, you can deal with that issue on your own without potentially losing this friendship or calling her a liar. It’s OK to be upset about things and to not always graciously accept unpleasant news. Yet it’s also important to recognize your motivation and to consider the feelings of others in what you say and do (1 Corinthians 10:24).

Sometimes it can be scary to hear about terrible things that are happening to our friends. If your friend has told you something in confidence that is unbelievable because she is in danger or being abused, it’s important to take her word for it and go with her to a mutually trusted adult who can help her. Part of being a good friend is being willing to believe and to advocate for those we care about, even if we’ve never seen what they tell us.

However, if you continue having difficulty resolving your gut feeling about the situation, this could also be a warning signal that something isn’t right. After all, feelings of distress or anxiety are contrary to the peaceful spirit of God (Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 4:7).

It’s very important to dissect your own reaction to the situation before you assume that your feelings are an answer to prayer, though. While persistent, indispensable urges can be from God, fleeting emotions are not. As you pray about this situation, you will likely receive other indications besides your feelings to discern the truth, because prayer gives you discernment (Jeremiah 33:3).

If your friend is lying, do you think you can forgive her? We’ll talk about forgiveness next week.



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