Finding Grade-A Pals

Hello friends! Today has been such a happy day. I just got back from a Bible study I started a couple months ago with a few very wonderful friends of mine, and my heart is oh so full. I’m so blessed to be able to call such godly girls my closest friends. And hey, while we’re on the topic of friendship, let’s see what good ‘ole JC has to say about it.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
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!

God never intended for man to live a life of solitude. You could love Jesus more than anyone who ever walked the planet, but if you didn’t have anyone to do life with… if you had no one to talk to about what God is doing in your life and you never got to hear what God was doing in other’s lives… what difference is your life making in someone else’s? None at all. It is so important for us to have people who we can share our struggles and our accomplishments with. Like it says in this verse, if you fall down or stray away from Jesus, and no one knows about your heartache because you haven’t shared that with anyone, how do you expect to get back up? Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is absolutely all we need. But God never intended for us to live this difficult life on our own. Although people are not perfect and will let you down, you are not perfect and you will let others down too. If we refuse to let people in, in fear that they will end up hurting us, we will miss out on so many relationships that God intends for us to have.  It’s so important to be able to hear what God is doing for other broken people, and it’s equally important to share what God is doing in your broken life! As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, we need help. Having a friend that will help you when you fall is never a bad thing to have.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

So now that we’ve established that we should have friends, let’s talk about what kind of friends we should have. This is such a tricky topic, because yes, we should love everyone with the love of Jesus and of course that means being friends with every type of person, but the difficult part is figuring out the line between influencing a person and letting them influence you. It is one thing to be friends with someone, but it is a completely different thing to be best friends with someone. The ones you consider your very best friends… those who you spend most of your free time with… should be wise. They should be people who challenge you to be better, not encourage you to be worse. Again, I’m not at all saying you shouldn’t befriend those who aren’t living as Christ, but I am saying that you should have people in your life who you can talk to about your struggles and your joys who are going to be able to relate to you on a real, spiritual level and who are going to give you wise advice. I hate to say you are who your friends are, but people can rub off on us so much more easily than we think. We have to be so careful to make sure that the people who we surround ourselves with are filling our minds with good.

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

 

Now that we know what kind of friends to look for, let’s learn how to be a friend to look for. We are all, from birth, ugly and disgusting sinners who have no business talking about the things of the Lord. We are inherently horrible friends, because we are born selfish. That being said, Jesus changes sinners every single day, every single moment. It is through Him we are able to be anything but horrible, and it is through Him we are able to be trustworthy and selfless friends. People are always going to let us down. We are always going to let others down. It’s a part of life, because we are sinners. But what we do with that… what we do when people wrong us… that is the pivotal choice. A friend loves at all times. Not when you’re getting along, not when you agree with the decisions another is making, not when you feel like it… but all times. A brother is born for adversity. When your friend is struggling with a sin, whether they ask for your help or not, you are to do everything in your power to help them. A true friend doesn’t worry that their friend will get angry with them or get offended, a true friend screams “Jesus” always.

 

Proverbs 27:5-6
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

This one is so hard. I know that I hate it when people are upset with me, and when your friend is living in sin and hasn’t asked for your opinion, marching up to them and telling them they need to shape up and get right with Jesus seems both rude and intrusive to me. Confrontation is not something I’m very good at. However, the Bible tells us that we must. A friend who never tells a friend when they need to change is not a friend at all. It’s like watching someone drowning, holding a life raft, but not throwing it out because you’re afraid of what they might think of you. It’s crazy when you think of it like that… I mean who wouldn’t want you to throw the raft, right? But that’s how it should be with us too. If you are a true Christian, wouldn’t you want someone to “throw the raft” when you’re drowning? A true friend doesn’t let someone sink to the bottom, a true friend does everything in his power to make sure they get back on the boat.

God has blessed me with some of the greatest friends in the world, and I am just so thankful that I have them now. The Christian walk is so much easier when you are not walking it alone! Yay for friendship and yay for Jesus. And hey, if you don’t have anyone you feel like is really challenging you in your faith to talk to, feel free to shoot me a message. I love new friends.

With love,

Claire

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