Ask A Kabbalist

Dealing With the Untrustworthy Friend

Question:

I know a person who constantly cheats people, lies, steals, and is a very untrustworthy person. I've known him for several years and have invited him into my home on several occasions. There are times when I choose not to be in his presence due to his negative nature and ways. Yet, I am always very kind to him and have made numerous attempts over the years to encourage him to better himself, both intellectually and spiritually. From a kabbalistic viewpoint, is it wrong of me to choose not to be in his company due to the negative nature of things he does? Or should I not be concerned with what he does and continue to view him as a child of our Creator and forgive his actions? Thank you for your time, and thank you for sharing your wisdom with the world. ~VD

Answer:

In the Zoharit says that the Torah argued with the Creator about the worthiness of man to be created. The Torah argued that man is destined to sin and disconnect so what is the point of creating him to begin with? The Creator responded, “Man shall be created because I am all merciful.”

This is a great lesson. Kabbalah teaches us that if we want to receive Light, fulfillment, happiness, or joy we must act like the Light. Therefore, if you want to receive any or all of the above, start by acting like the Light, be merciful, forgiving, patient, and understanding.

Nowhere is it written ‘let others trick you, steal from you, cheat you, and enable them to do it again.’ Don’t change anything about your sharing and merciful nature; just don’t be attached to the outcome in hopes that this individual will change. Do whatever you can—share, inspire, and teach compassion, for the sake of connecting to the Light.

If that person changes, it would be a great bonus. If that person doesn’t change, it is still ok because you shared for the sake of awakening the Light within, for the sake of connecting to the Light. In other words, lower your expectations of people. Man is not born perfect. Furthermore, he is destined to sin, to disconnect, to do wrong. Be merciful and forgive. On the other hand, if the person is not worthy of your friendship, you may choose a different environment for yourself. All the best!

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