Keep or Not to Keep?

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By: Lynn Cowell

Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one.” (NIV)

Over it already, that is how Chelsea felt about her friendship with Kate. At first their friendship was so exciting! They had a lot in common: both were athletes, both didn’t worry about fashion, both hated girl drama. That was last year. This year things were different.

It started when Kate got her first boyfriend; it was almost as if she thought she was now better than Chelsea. She began forwarding every text she got from a boy. What was Chelsea supposed to do with that? She didn’t know what to do. Were they just going in different directions?

Girlfriends! Our relationships with friends can be almost, if not more, complicated than those with boys! A lot of time and energy can be used trying to figure out how friendships are supposed to work, or trying to repair the damage when they don’t work out right!
So how do we know when we should continue investing in a friendship and when it’s time to let it go? Here are some questions we can ask ourselves:

What does she talk about?

How does she spend most of her free time?

Does she often find fault and judge others or does she protect her friends?

Does she speak highly of other friends or does she put others down so she can look better?

Does she look for ways she can encourage other people?

Bottom line: is the friendship good for you? The Bible says we need to look out for friends that can pull us down:

“Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn” (Proverbs 16:27, The Message).

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (Proverbs 18:8).

“Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths” (Proverbs 20:19, The Message).

You make the call: healthy or hurtful?


Jesus, letting friendships go can be really hard. Please make it clear to me if I should continue my friendship with ___________ (you fill in the blank). I need your direction. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Ponder:  "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

Apply: If you have a friendship that is going through some painful times, be honest and talk to your friend about it. Ask the Lord to show you the time and the place. Be sure to phrase your sentences saying “I feel…” and not  “You make me….” This keeps the doors for conversation open.
Have you found this devo helpful? Share it with a friend!

Read: Today’s devo was taken from Lynn Cowell’s new book His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You”.  If you liked it, you can be one of the first to get a copy! Pre-order by clicking here.

Share: Do you find it hard to speak honestly with your friends when things get awkward or do you struggle? Share how you handle the hard stuff.

Lynn Cowell lives in Charlotte, NC with her family. They enjoy hiking, football, rugby, white water rafting, fast pitch softball and music.
She loves hanging out with girls and challenging them to run hard after Jesus; to discover Him as the true love of their heart and to find that He completely fills every corner and every desire. He alone.
If you are interested in seeing pics of Lynn’s family, seeing her speaking schedule or requesting her to speak, visit her blog at
 Living with Purpose: A Radical Revolution ∙ A Ministry of Lynn Cowell ∙

© 2011 Lynn Cowell



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This is a great article, and it really makes me think about what kind of a friend I am to others. I think a lot of the time I'm too quick to be negative about other people, and this has really inspired me to be better about that. Thanks so much!

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