My friend sleeps around. Now people think I do. How do I fix my reputation and help my friend?
I've got a real problem. I met this girl Kim at the beginning of the school year. We've become best friends. My other friend Cheryl makes us a great trio. However, Kim sleeps around with lots of guys outside of our school. And she tells people!
The problem is my good friend Annette told me everyone believes Cheryl and I do it, too, because we hang out with Kim. This hurts! Cheryl and I have told Kim to stop doing it and stop telling people about her personal life. But how do Cheryl and I get rid of our bad and definitely untrue reputation?
We don't want to hang around Kim, but she doesn't have any other friends. How do we get rid of these lies?
You do have a problem - a serious one. I am very concerned about you and your reputation, but I'm also concerned about your friend Kim, who is destroying her life by sleeping around. So I want to give some council to you both.
Understand the truth about your friend.
Kim's problem of sleeping with guys is a symptom of a deeper problem. Somewhere deep in Kim's heart she is very sick and desperately needs your help. Maybe she was sexually abused or she has low self-worth, or maybe she is starving for love. The bottom line is that your friend is hurting badly and needs to get help immediately.
The fact that she tells you and others about having sex with all these guys is a cry for help. It may not seem like that but it is. Who really wants to have sex with all kinds of guys and risk getting a sexually transmitted disease, pregnant, or even AIDS? Each time she gives herself away to another guy, she dies a little more. Something inside of her is driving her to do these things.
And, Sharon, you're in a great position to help her. As Proverbs 17:17 says,
A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble (NCV).
You, maybe along with Cheryl, need to go and speak with Kim. Tell her that you love her but can't bear to see her destroying herself. Tell her she doesn't have to keep living like she is - giving her body away for a few brief moments of love and affection. Talk with her about Jesus, the man who would never trash her.
Kim needs to give herself away one last time to the right man - Jesus Christ. Don't be sidetracked in talking with her. She needs to get right with Jesus. And then she needs to talk with your youth worker or another adult who can help her get into counseling.
Remember, be loving but also firm. I know what I'm asking you to do is radical. But if you don't do something, I'm afraid your friend may destroy herself forever. If she resists, tell her you'll be there when she is ready to get help but you can no longer continue to offer your support and friendship. She will need you.
Understand the truth about your reputation.
You have no doubt heard the proverb:
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
This is very much how teenagers classify one another. If you are hanging out with this girl who gives her body away, other people think you also must be giving your body away. Often, appearance seems more important to teenagers than the truth.
Sharon, you must use this situation as an opportunity to replace the bad reputation with a new, powerful one. Instead of being known as a young lady who gives her body to guys, become known as a young lady who has given her soul to Jesus Christ. Use your example of love and strength in dealing with Kim as a statement to others. I'm praying Kim will give her life to Jesus and then she will be an example of someone who has been radically changed by Jesus Christ.
But I must caution you. Do not be saddened or even depressed if you do not get the results you hoped for, especially at the very start. Some people will like you no matter what and others will dislike you no matter what. All you can do is do what's right by God and leave the results to him.
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:7,
When a man [or woman] is trying to please God, God makes even his worst enemies to be at peace with him (TLB).
Sharon, be strong - for your friend and for yourself. God will help you.
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