Recently, I heard this quote:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
It made me think. Made me think of my group of friends and how deeply blessed I am to have them. Made me think of how community is important. You have may heard this quote before. You may agree with it, or you may not. But I would like to invite you to reflect closely on who the 5 people you spend the most time with are… Do they influence you in a way that brings you closer to your faith? Or away from it? Are you able to openly share the deepest parts of you or do you feel inclined to act a certain way around them?
I do want to dive into what it means to be a friend, how to be a better one, and tips on finding great ones.
What is a “friend”?
Dictionary.com defines the word “friend” as
Now, the bible defines friendship in many different ways. Proverbs seems to be a great book on what God wants to tell us about friendship.
“A friend is a friend at all times, and a brother is born for the time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
In my search, I also found one beautiful verse from Colossians, in which I especially loved:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Compassion. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. And patience.
This is what friendship is all about. My favorite part is when it says “if any of you have grievance against someone, forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Friendships are made for two things: Happiness & heaven.
I share with you 3 little tips that will hopefully lead you toward living in more true, authentic, real friendships. Through this journey we call life, let us strive to make our relationships more authentic, so that they may lead us to more love..and ultimately lead us to HEAVEN.
Building more honest & true friendships
- Know yourself and your intentions.
- In any relationship…to love…is to truly will the good of another. God calls us to live in communion with each other. We have been created FOR love and for relationship. Know what your intentions are in each of your relationships and ask yourself…”Am I truly willing the best for my friend/significant other/family/etc.?” Are my intentions that they be happy and in my best efforts am i truly leading them toward heaven?
- Make your actions match your words.
- God gives us four important words to live by. Love God, and Love Others. If we say that we LOVE our friend(s), we must show our love through our actions. While at a retreat I attended recently, we were asked “what is the opposite of LOVE?” Many people said “hate“…But the speaker then said “The opposite of love is selfishness.” This struck me. It’s true. Selfless acts require love & communicate it, while being selfish does not. May our actions always match our words and truly lead us to love, always.
- Be sincere about your reactions
- Not everything is going to be warm and fuzzy, but we have to be open & honest to what we feel, and observe. Being open actually leads us closer in friendships. Honesty is often a scary thing. We are often scared to say how we are feeling to our friends because we fear that our friendship will be put at risk. To be vulnerable is to be open to all the love we have to receive. Bring your worries and anxieties to God. Be honest with God, and then you will be able to be honest with yourself…this will lead to being more honest, open, and vulnerable with others.
There is beauty in selflessness, beauty in vulnerability, beauty in truth, beauty in honesty, and true beauty in friendships. May you strive to make all your friendships beautiful, but I encourage you first….to start with your friendship with GOD. Because it is truly when we love God most, we love others best.
In closing, I share with you and excerpt from Leah Darrow’s book, The Other Side of Beauty:
“Beauty in friendship is one of the most important ways we can draw others to God. Much of each day is spent interacting with other people. So if we make our relationships beautiful, we can impact the world. In our culture we struggle with friendship. We live in an individualistic culture, that we primarily spend the majority of our time on ourselves. In contrast to that mindset, friendships that seek the good of the other is a way of sharing beauty with others. True friends speak truth. Make you better, and challenge you. True friends know that they can’t complete you or make you happy, but they aid and guide you to The One who does. Jesus Christ.
Choosing better friends and letting go of the old ones, was one of my first battles in living my new life of beauty. After walking away from my old friends I realized I did not have one single true friend from my past. For all my young adult life I depended on people like a crutch to give me value and make me feel loved. I used my friendships to distract me from the growing needs of my heart, and to avoid loneliness. Letting go of everyone who had kept me down was strangely liberating, but it also made me feel very lonely. But in prayer I could hear Jesus tell me,
“I am you friend, I am enough.”
When I allowed Christ to enter my life, He gave me this alone time so that I would learn to embrace the truth that He was enough for me. I needed to learn this lesson, before filling my life with any other relationship. I first needed to allow Christ to fill me and then teach me what true friendship looks like. ” – Leah Darrow
You are so truly loved and cherished. Allow Christ to become your best friend, and He will show you, too– what true friendship looks like. He is your friend, and He is enough. A friend “love at all times” and that first and true friend is Jesus Christ. May He be your guide, always.
God bless you, my friends.
I am praying for you.
Your Sister, Through Christ Always,