“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
Friends are wonderful gifts from the Lord. Having an intimate counselor, a faithful workout buddy, a fellow hobby enthusiast, or a comedian to lighten the heart is priceless.
Finding, cultivating, and keeping friends, however, can be challenging! Is it hard for you to meet people? With existing friends, have you noticed negative relational patterns? Do you experience joy and mutual support?
Are you ready to be honest, even if it hurts? In the space below, write difficulties you have experienced in acquiring or sustaining friendships.
If you’ve lost friendships, that’s normal. They flourish, go dormant, and even end. Moving, life changes, diverging paths, unforgiveness, some friends will be left behind, others will leave you. It can be painful to release a friend from your life, for whatever reason.
To improve your friendships, consider the questions below. Why all this self-assessment, you may ask? You might even say to me, “I’m a great friend. I just seem to attract the wrong people!” Well, the truth is, we often view ourselves with rose-colored glasses while looking at others through the judgmental lens of a microscope. We don’t see our flaws, but quickly find them in others. We might even create a fantasy of ourselves as innocent victims, getting sucked into self-pity, pathetically whining, “Why me?”, when we perceive we have been wronged or misjudged. In these times, we lack perspective. It’s important to see ourselves objectively, through our heavenly Father’s eyes.
When answering these probing questions, precious daughter of God, don’t be afraid. Remember, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:6-10 NKJV).
Make a list of qualities you possess that make you a good friend.
Make a list of qualities you possess that make friendship with you difficult.
Prayerfully consider what changes you can make to be a better friend, and write what you discover.
That wasn’t so bad, was it, dear one? When we hold the Father’s hand, we are safe and free to be honest about ourselves.
So, now that you have been illuminated, be the light for others! As a child of the King, “shine” in every relationship. Lead others deeper into a relationship with Him; that is true friendship. By reflecting the image of our Savior, modeling Jesus’ love, and spreading the truth to others, you will create a new normal that quietly conquers the chaos of this world.
Pray with Me:
“Dear Lord, help me to be a good friend, the kind of friend that makes others soar. Guide me in loving my friends well. I want to pour out Your love to those around me. When conflict arises, give me the wisdom to make things right. I pray that You would both deepen the relationships I have with existing friends, and bring new close friends into my life. I pray for friendships that would strengthen and sharpen me to be more Christ-like, and that would positively impact the trajectory of my life. I want to be that kind of friend for others too. Thank You for the precious gift of friendships. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”
Have a Talk with God:
What is God speaking to you about how to deepen the friendships in your life? Or maybe God is asking you to step out and initiate a friendship with someone new? (i.e. ask a mom you have recently met for coffee, a playdate, or even dinner). What is God saying to you? Be bold and whatever nudge you feel from the Lord, act on it in faith.