Friends…..I think this word is probably one of the MOST overused words in the world!! And I am not exaggerating. I will admit that I am guilty of using this word to describe a lot of people I know but as I am maturing and realizing my purpose in God, I am also realizing what friendship really is. Just because you know their names, what they like, what they do…does NOT make them your friend. You turn up with them? Great! They make you laugh? That’s cute. They listen to your venting? Bonus! But is that it? Is that all you put into your definition of friendship? If it is then I am sorry to tell you that you are leading yourself to a path of disappointment and annoyance. Your ‘friends’ will come and go, they will let you down, they will change and YOU have to realize and understand when you have OUTGROWN a friendship. I am a big believer that people come into your life for a reason, season, and a PURPOSE. And you have to ask God for the discernment to know the difference. I like to use examples so this is one I read a while back: You never see a tree get depressed about shedding its leaves…even the elements of nature know the value of letting go once the season change.” And we must learn that lesson!
I was reading this book called ‘Pink Lips & Empty Hearts’ by a woman named Heather Lindsey. In this book she has an entire chapter about friendship. I will share a few main points from the book and how it hit home for me. If you know me, you know that I am a very sociable person. I am loud at times, silly, and know a good amount of people. I like to think I am kind and at one point I would say that I had a LOT of friends. But I don’t. I have a novel full of people I know (ACQUAINTANCES) but I can honestly tell you that I only have about five people in my life that I can crown as my FRIEND. Even the bible speaks on friendship! Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 22:24–25: So not to make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with anyone easily angered or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 13:20: He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” I can list verse upon verse that touches on the subject of friendship but I’ll list them at the end of this post for you.
Friendship should NOT be something on convenience or comfort. Like any relationship it is work! Friendship is love and love is a verb! So ask yourself are the ones you call your friends showing you love in its truest most biblical sense? I’ll make this easy by making a list below that compares a FRIEND to an ACQUAINTANCE or random as Heather Lindsey refers to them in her book.
· They push you towards your relationship with God
· They are HONEST with you. Tell you when you are in the wrong but love and support you through everything
· They help you see things from a different perspective, not just that of your own
· They stick up for you…in front of you and ESPECIALLY behind your back!
· They tell you all the THINGS YOU DO NOT want to hear. This will help you grow as a person and though you may be angry with them for a while you will realize they are loving you!
· A REAL friend rocks with you through EVERY season. Whether you moved further apart, got married, etc. they are there!
· They speak life unto you and do not bash you when you are not around
· ENCOURAGEMENT!! Real friends encourage you and remind you of who you are!
· They intercede in prayer for you
· YOUR FRIENDSHIPS SHOULD BE BRIDGES THAT BUILD YOU CLOSER TO CHRIST, not ditches that keep you stuck
· With reals friends you can laugh, cry, scream, shout, hug and there will still be no judgment!
· Friends sharpen one another- Proverbs 27:17
· They know your name and maybe a few cute and small details about you
· They tell you all the things you want to hear
· You cannot trust them with the most honest parts of yourself
· Behind your back, you have no idea what kind of person they are
· They want you to indulge in the dirt that they do
· Gossip and negativity is something that surround these types of relationships
· Need a turn up only buddy? There you go! Acquaintances!!
· They are present ONLY when it is convenient
· Quick to judge
· Put in maybe a ¼ of what you do in the ‘relationship
Verses about friendship:
Ø Eccles. 4:9–10
Ø John 15:12–15
Ø Proverbs 17:17
Ø Proverbs 27:17
Ø Proverbs 12:26
Ø Job 16:20–21