“Having those weird conversations with your friend and realizing, if anyone heard us we would be put in a mental hospital.”
Now I think that my friends would have a blast in a mental hospital. Ironically one of my most random friends actually works as a receptionist at a mental hospital. I don’t think that is a coincidence. Besides being really random, each of them in their unique ways, make my life so much better. I honestly do not know what I would do without them.
Friendships are really important. As human beings, we are wired to want relationships. Honestly, friendship is a very weird thing. You meet a person, realize that they are just as weird as you and say “hey let’s be friends.” Okay, maybe it doesn’t always work quite like that, but it could come down to something similar.
For example, my best friend and I met at a holiday club. We got along very well and she invited me to come over to her house a couple of days later. Upon my arrival, she looked at me in such a sheepish way and said, “This is soooo embarrassing, but I have completely forgotten your name.”
Needless to say, we’ve been best friends ever since and she has never forgotten my name ever again.
True friendships don’t just happen overnight, but once they do happen, they have the potential to stay with us for the rest of our lives.
We are supposed to have friendships. I don’t think that God intended for us to go through life without them. He doesn’t want us to be alone
“Two people are better off than one, for they help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)
However, because of the lasting nature of friendships and how influential they are, we ought to choose our friends wisely. Most of us, I think, know all about the negative effects friendship can have and how bad peer pressure is. We are cautioned, especially as Christians to be very selective about the people we choose to hang out with. Which is a valid point since the people with whom we spend the most time can have a strong influence on our behaviour. For this reason, we should be cautious.
This aside though, we spend so much time filtering the people we count as friends, but do we spend enough time to be a friend the way God intends for us to be? Friendship, like all relationships, are hard work. Sometimes our friends drive us crazy, but according to the Bible, we are still supposed to love them. The same way that Jesus loved us.
“Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends” John 15:13 (The Message)
As Christians, we are called to be different, and our friendships should be different. Here are 3 ways in which we can be the kind of friends the Bible mentions we should be:
“Laugh with your friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down” Romans 12:15 (The Message)
- We are supposed to stand by our friends and support them through good times and bad times. Good friends see each other through both the worst and best times of their lives. So don’t just be around your friends when things are fun. Help them when they are going through a breakup or a bad exam, or something like that.
“Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
2. We should be kind to our friends and build them up. Friends joke around and insult each other, and there is nothing wrong with that. But we should also compliment our friends, especially about something they might insecure about.
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense” Proverbs 27:9 (NLT)
3. We should be willing to listen to our friends and pray for them. If a friend looks down or sad, you ask them what is wrong. Be willing to then sit for the next half an hour and listen to how horrible their day was. Support can make a huge difference for a troubled heart.
These 3 things alone are really hard, but besides God wanting us to do this, the reward is having true friends that would do the same for us. Friends like that are worth more than gold!
~ Elri Voigt, Guest Author