What are your friends for?
FRIENDSHIP is so much more than having someone to hang out with. Do your friends turn to you for prayer or gossip? Do you turn to your friends for prayer or gossip? I asked the question in both ways because friendship is a give and take relationship.
This past year, my prayer life has increased tremendously. My friends have reached out to me to pray for things that are beyond my personal experiences. I could have easily shied away from praying for them, but I remembered that if I pray what the Word says (in context), I will always pray the right things. It is important to remember that your friends’ experiences are centered around the Word, not the other way around. Prayer is just ONE foundation to build a friendship on.
I am no expert on friendship, but I know what I have experienced personally. Since I have been in college I’ve really discovered the definition of a true friend. Instead of just calling “them” a friend, I ask myself “what makes ‘them’ a good friend?” I honestly believe that God’s plan for me to come to college was for more than just school. School was just the next step after graduating high school. I am in college mainly for the people, to create friendships and relationships, for good teaching at my church, and to experience life outside of my living quarters. Since being here, I have truly formed God-ordained relationships. After meeting them, they have raised the bar of what friendship should be. I am aware that friendships are seasonal, but the goal is to gain something beneficial….and give something beneficial.
What I gained from the friendship is…
- Fun and genuine ways to live like a Christian
- Love for God, church, and His people
- Unconditional generosity
- Unconditional love
- Humor in EVERYTHING
…just to name a few-
It is important to have a give and take relationship in a friendship. It is also important to see the value in having a friend. I see all of my friendships as valuable. When something is valuable to you, you cherish it and do your best to take care of it. Outside of Jesus–Who can you call on when you need comfort? Who will speak only positive things over you? Who will still be your friend despite distance? Who will display the same characteristics you do? There are many clichés that state the effects of friendship. Some include, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are” or “bad company corrupts good behavior.” Scripture even highlights benefits of good friendship– “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces”-Proverbs 13:20 (MSG). Friendships are needed and you should be able to see value in each one.
Good fruit or bad fruit?
A tree is known by the fruit it bears. An apple tree will produce apples . A peach tree will produce peaches. A liar will produce lies. A giver will produce gifts. What kind of fruit do you want to produce? The type of fruit that I want in my life will be a reflection of Godly characteristics. I intentionally surrounded myself with people who could bring out the best in me in the worst situations. Friendship is intentional. They can change,but if you are intentional on the company you keep, you will see and reap the benefits.
Just as it’s important to surround yourself with the right people, it is also important to know how to treat people you choose to be friends with. Relationships of any kind are cyclical and a never ending process. Nasty, backbiting behavior is not an example of a true friendship. Proverbs 17:9 (AMP) simply says “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love , But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.” It’s okay to have an issue with a friend, but the right thing to do is talk about it and forgive them. If you talk about it and then keep bringing up the issue, causing strife, that’s not okay. Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who is always causing issues… When you have those kind of friends,the question is not “Are they my friend?” The question is “Are they a friend for ME?” People normally exhibit behavior to the best of their ability of what they have been exposed to. What’s best for them might not necessarily be what’s best for you. With that being said, there are levels to friendships. You don’t just disregard and exclude people, but… you realize who people are, their purpose in your life, and your purpose in their life. That is a different blog for another day though…
What do you look for in a friend? Comment below 🙂