You've Got a Friend
I value a person’s time and energy when it comes to friendship. In today’s world it is easy to become too busy with life to entertain a friendship. Before you know it, you have not spoken to a friend in months. How do you continue cultivating a friendship?
Making time for a face to face is very important in a friendship. We hide behind our screens, click the like button, and comment on post; however, that is not staying in touch. That world is not reality. You cannot see the pain in your friend’s eyes through a screen. The occasional quick conversation by text or in the grocery store does not allow a relationship to grow. It takes more effort than that.
Let’s face it, we are selfish with our time. I had someone tell me they wanted to do lunch with me one day, but that she knew I was busy. My response was to tell her to call me, she works, but I do not. Life gets crazy and we forget saying “let’s do lunch”. (Or we say it without meaning it, which I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.) But what if we turned the tables. Instead of waiting for others to reach out to us, why not call them. Shocking idea, huh?
We long to not be alone. We do need some time to be alone, to recharge. But we long for companionship. We crave conversation and attention. God created us that way. Men need men to build godly relationships with one another to offer accountability, support and companionship. Guess what? Women need the same thing from other women. We need to establish relationships to live out 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
We spend time building a relationship with God so that we can share that relationship with others. Not always strangers in a foreign country, not always across our country, but in a relationship closer to us. We need encouragement, it is a gift that helps the receiver continue their journey. Encouragement speaks life. Words are a powerful tool. They can tear apart a relationship just as fast as they can restore and build that relationship up.
Guidelines for a lasting friendship are not written or taught much anymore. But I find that setting the Lord first in a relationship helps. We should pray for one another. The second thing I find in friendship is forgiveness. We will hurt our friends, whether we mean to or not. Forgiving that friend for the hurt is crucial in our relationship with God and also with each other. Holding a grudge will separate you from God, and it will harden your heart towards your friend. (Just as scripture says “do not let the sun set on your anger” [Ephesians 4:26] applies in a marriage, it applies towards friends too.) I understand needing to process things but holding onto the hurt will not make the friendship grow. The last thing I find helpful is honesty. This is the hardest thing of all because being honest means you will probably hurt that other person’s feelings. Being transparent is difficult for those of us who have had so many hurts that we just want to hide behind the wall we have built up around us. However, a one-sided friendship is no real friendship.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV) “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Encourage one another, helping them up, steading them and caring for them that is a friendship worthy of praise. I hope you are encouraged to reach out to your friends, do not let them be MIA too long. Take the time to cultivate a friendship, you might find a godly companion in the process.