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Ex porn star-turned-Christian on importance of healthy friendships, how to identify 'toxic' people

Brittni De La Mora
Former porn star Brittni and Rich De La Mora. |

Christian author and speaker Brittni De La Mora weighed in on the crucial role friendships play in living a God-glorifying life and identified the various kinds of “toxic” people Christians should avoid allowing in their inner circle. 

Brittni, a former porn star who famously left the industry behind to become a Christian, recently discussed the topic on an episode of “Let’s Talk Purity,” a show she co-hosts alongside her husband, Rich De La Mora.

“I've had my fair share of great friendships that have been a blessing, that have been destiny friendships, but then I've also had some friendships that have really, especially since becoming a Christian in the last eight years, have tried to hinder me in some way or another. And I know that this isn't an isolated incident,” she said.

LISTEN: Subscribe to the “Let’s Talk Purity” Podcast on Edifi

Rich stressed the importance of healthy peer friendships, adding: “I've seen people who stayed in an impure place because of the people that are around ... we have to be very intentional and we have to take a look at our friendships ... I think it's very important before we invest, we need to learn to investigate.”

Brittni shared how, when she left the porn industry and began going to church, she realized she needed to change her lifestyle. But the man she was dating at the time encouraged her to return to stripping to make ends meet.

“The old me would have been like, ‘Yeah, you're right.' But no, I was such a person of conviction, I was like, 'No, God set me free from that,’” she recalled. “If you're not a person of conviction, especially, your friendships will definitely hinder you.”

Brittni identified different types of toxic friends, including “yes people” and “performance-based people” who fail to hold others accountable or reveal their true character. 

“We need people in our lives who can tell us the truth even when it hurts,” she said. 

A sign of a toxic friend, Rich added, is one who pulls you away from Christ or makes you compromise your faith: “Your friends who are for you — you know they're going to make sure that you become all that Christ has called you to be ... we have to be really wise. The serpent knows how to get in cracks and crevices.”

“I’ve seen some of the strongest leaders I've ever seen, some of the most brilliant gifted people in ministry, get pulled away because of bad friendships,” he added. “Be careful with people who try to compromise your convictions.”

The couple also cautioned listeners against befriending those who are “intimidated” by them, stressing the importance of having friends who can both celebrate and uplift those around them.

“A confident person is going to cheer you on, whereas an insecure and an intimidated person — you just can't trust them,” Brittni said. “They're not going to push you closer to the things that God has for you. They are going to try to tempt you to just be mediocre ... they're going to gossip behind your back. It’s very hard to be friends with an insecure person because they are jealous of you.”

Brittni added that many people were there for her when she was “stumbling into church drunk and on drugs” — but the more success she found, the smaller her circle became because people became “envious.” 

“I think God is so good at pruning friendships,” she said. “And so if there are friendships in your life that God has been pruning, He's removed people out of your life, or He's convicting you to maybe close the door on them, don't fight Him. Don't fight Him because your bad friendships, your toxic friendships, will definitely hinder your destiny.”

Rich added that Jesus exemplified how to have a tight-knit inner circle, adding: “Toxic people tolerate you. People who are healthy people honor you. You have to know the difference.”

For those who are forced to have toxic people in their lives for various reasons, Brittni advised setting boundaries.

“Boundaries are the most beautiful thing because they keep toxic people at bay where you can love them, you can even minister the Gospel to them, you can show them the love of Jesus, but they aren't impacting your heart,” she explained. 

Previously, Brittni highlighted the pivotal role friends play in recovering from drug or alcohol addiction: “Part of the reason why I didn't go back to drugs was [that] I got rid of all my friendships, all the connects, all of my hookups, and I literally surrounded myself with church people,” she said. 

“Anybody that might be a temptation to you — get them out of your life, and keep pressing in with God. Go to church, serve in your church too ... take your eyes off of yourself and your problems and put them on helping other people ... you have to be in the right environment.”

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