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Friends – how many of us have them?
Friends – ones we can depend on…
Okay, enough with the Whodini lyrics. But seriously, how many of us have honest-to-God, wonderful, reliable friends? I must admit, I’ve always been a “guys” girl for most of my life. Keeping very few close girlfriends. However, when I met Drew almost two years ago, I had to re-evaluate my expectations on friendship. Fast forward to today, and I am ecstatic to say that I have some amazing God-fearing, women in my life. However, these relationships didn’t spring up overnight. It took good judgement and effort to cultivate these precious relationships. Here are 5 simple ways to recognize godly friendships in your life.
5 Simple Ways to Recognize Godly Friendships
Just like God created you for a purpose, your relationships should be filled with purpose too. This isn’t to say that you can’t sit around in your pajamas with your bestie and binge watch that new season on Netflix. However, I am saying that your friendships should be making you better.
Are the women and couples you surround yourself with leading you towards your purpose or away from it? “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT). A true friend will give you guidance, lead you away from temptation, and be there for you in times of trouble. Ask yourself if the people you surround yourself with are adding to you or taking from you?
Honestly, I am not a big fan of vulnerability, because vulnerability can be painful. However, vulnerability is where you find the deep interworkings of the true authentic spirit God created in you. Being vulnerable with God is the first key. However, we must also be vulnerable with those closest to us.Vulnerability is where you find the deep interworkings of the true authentic spirit God created in you Click To Tweet
In Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown writes, “Yes, we are totally exposed when we are vulnerable. Yes, we are in the torture chamber that we call uncertainty. And, yes, we’re taking a huge emotional risk when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. But there’s no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness.”
Surround yourself with people who build you up and increase your strength when you share your true self. And if people don’t like who you truly are in Christ, that’s okay. Everyone ain’t for everybody.
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” Proverbs 27:5-6 (NIV). It’s not always fun being told about yourself, but honesty is needed in friendship.
As a flawed human, you’re almost guaranteed to make some bad decisions and fall a time or two. A good friend will speak the truth in love to you, and we must be willing to hear it. None of us are perfect, and sometimes we’re blind to our own imperfections. This is why God blesses us with people in our lives to help guide us toward righteousness and pick us back up when we fall. Are your friends being honest with you? And are you willing to dig deep and hear them, even when it hurts?
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to me…”, I can’t tell you exactly what respect meant to Aretha Franklin, but I can tell you what it means to me. Luke 6:31 says “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (NLT). Respect is pretty much the golden rule in all relationships. I wish it went without saying, but in today’s society, common courtesy ain’t so common anymore.
Do your friends respect you as a child of our almighty God first and foremost? Secondly, do your friends respect your values, your opinion, your space, your time, etc. I don’t believe that respect has to be earned because we are all children of God and respecting others is part of respecting the Lord and His word. However, if you find yourself being disrespected in a relationship you’re not obligated to maintain the friendship. Respect God, yourself, and others. Look for people that choose to do the same.
We are created in the image of God. God is love, therefore we were created to love too. God called us to love Him, ourselves, and others. “A friend loves at all times” Proverbs 17:17 (NLV). Although this verse isn’t complex, it’s still profound. We were made to love our friends and others at all times. Not sometimes, not most times, at all times.
Choosing to love others when it’s hard can be trying, but it also brings glory to God. We are to love others like Christ, and nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ, so seem like a win-win situation. Choose friends that love you unconditionally and love them back. When we mess up, apologize swiftly and forgive quickly. Don’t give up and abandon friends over trivial matters.
Thank You for Being a Friend…
Alright golden girl, time to evaluate some friendships. It can be hard to let some friends go, but not everyone is called to walk with us for a lifetime. Some people are in our lives for a season, and just in case you forgot…seasons change!
Take stock of the relationships in your life and truly evaluate them on the criteria listed above and/or your own standards. If you’re having trouble discerning whether a relationship needs to end ask the Lord for guidance. He always comes through!
I hope these 5 simple ways to recognize godly friendships blessed you my dear, and I want to leave you with this prayer:
You are almighty God, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords! Father, you are so good! Lord, I come to you asking for wisdom and guidance. Father God, grant me wisdom to make sound judgment in my friendships and relationships. Lead my heart and help me be a godly friend and confidant. Lord, I desire godly relationships that brings me closer to you and your purpose for my life. Father, if there are any relationships that I need to remove from my life, Lord take them away. Lord break any soul ties between me and people not leading me towards your will. Lord I thank you and I love you. In Jesus name, Amen!
With lots of love,