But a true friend is there to watch you grow.
I have been listening to and talking with a few young people lately, talking about friendship and what friends mean to them and what they look for and don't look for in a friend. It is interesting to hear about friendship from a teenager's perspective, and I find that my own opinions are not that far off from theirs.
My friends are very important to me. I have been blessed with many and they have taught me a LOT about life. I also think God placed them in my life at exactly the right times...when I needed them. The Bible talks a lot about friendship, which tells me that God must place a lot of value in friends.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 (NIV)
I believe a true friend loves sacrificially. Choosing a friend, or hanging out with someone just because of what they can do for you is just bogus. Putting the needs and desires of your friend ahead of your own will gain you a strong and loyal friend. Isn't this what Jesus did for his friends the disciples...and for us?
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (NIV)
We discover that the best friends are the ones who love us and accept us for our strengths AND our weaknesses...and in in turn, we do the same for them. Sticking by a friend during a hard time, or forgiving them when there is an argument or hurtful situation is what you learn to do when you want those life-long friendships.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NIV)
I have MANY friends, but there only a few that I trust with the hard stuff that needs to be held in confidence. The friend that is proven trustworthy is one who will keep your confidences and be there during the hard stuff. AND, to become that trustworthy friend, we must learn to keep our mouths shut and keep the confidences of our friends as well.
1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy ... (NIV)
A good friend is able to maintain healthy boundaries. A friendship that feels like it is smothering you or not giving you space is not a good one. A good friend realizes the need for other friends and relationships and gives you space.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted ... (NIV)
A good friend will build you up and not tear you down with hurtful words. But, a good friend will also tell you the things, even the hard things, that you need to hear. Learning to listen to those friends you love and trust when they are trying to help you will help you far more than you can imagine!
What is my purpose in writing about friendship today? Well...to have a friend, you must first BE a friend. My wish for you today is that you will exhibit these friendship characteristics today to someone in your life. Is there someone you know who could use a good friend? Is there someone you could lift up today? Give it a try! Who knows....that person may become the best friend you've ever had! How about a friend you haven't seen or talked to in a while? Could a text, email, card or Facebook message be JUST what that friend needed today? God teaches us about friendship because they are important to our lives. Take care of yours today and you will be blessed for a lifetime!
I am thankful and grateful for all the friends in my life! You all bless me far beyond my wildest dreams!