24 Sep Real Friend Part 2
SEPTEMBER IS FRIENDSHIP MONTH for REAL WOMEN with blogs, Dear Grace videos, and testimonies
Types of friendships
I used to think that everyone in my life needed to be the same type of friend and my core value was loyalty. Just because someone is in your life doesn’t mean they are automatically a friend. I realized as I accumulated a lot of people in my life, I couldn’t be best friends with all of them. Prov.18:24 says, ”A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” While we might have lots of relationships, we may only have a few close friendships that are mutual. It is helpful to understand that there are many types of relationships:
Acquaintance–just met, may or may not talk again
Casual–friendly but generally no deep conversations, might be for a season (work together, neighbor, kids in sports together)
Close–trust has been earned but you still don’t share very deeply, mutual desire to get to know each other better, waiting to see if differences cause division or more depth
Best–(husband needs to be first) this woman is trustworthy, invests in you and points you to Jesus, you share experiences and memories, you don’t worry about them turning on you, you most likely agree on most things but can talk about differences without division, you mutually benefit and grow from the friendship, generally long term
A pastor friend of ours says, “Get your friends right, get your life right!” They can change your life for better or worse. Before calling someone a friend, you need to ask yourself if you desire to be “attached” to them. If they are unsafe or foolish, you need to step back and determine how to have boundaries so you don’t get harmed or join the folly. If they are focused on Jesus and want good for you, then pray about whether God wants you to be friends with them. It takes time to get to know someone, and patience, forgiveness, and discernment all play vital roles in that process. I have had some very painful “friendships” in my life, which were partly due to my lack of discernment and weakness of “people pleasing.” I was more concerned about hurting their feelings than listening to God giving me red flags. Instead I needed to see that God wants to protect us by sometimes asking us to set boundaries or end a relationship that is hurtful. As I have forgiven and moved forward, God has taught me discernment through the pain. None of us will be a perfect friend but if someone wants a one-sided friendship (you do all the giving) then step away or see them as a casual friend that you are ministering to.
Who are you hanging out with? Do they care about you, challenge you to grow, and support you through challenges or do they criticize you, let you stay stuck, and leave you when hard times hit? Friendships can be joyful or painful, and we need Jesus to help us navigate them. Look at Jesus’ life with his friendships. Thousands of people knew who He was, but He had to choose the ones that would be closest to Him. The 12 disciples had lots of issues, including Peter who denied Him, Thomas who doubted Him, and Judas who betrayed Him. Peter, James, and John were the 3 closest. He showed them all perfect love and relationship, but each one responded differently. If Jesus had hurtful friendships then we will too. Thankfully He can teach us how to heal and trust again! He created us to be in community, as He is (Trinity of Father, Son, Holy Spirit), and will give us the wisdom we need to be a good friend.
I’m thankful that God has provided some very faithful friends, and I want to encourage you not to give up.
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself along the way:
Who do you need to “unfriend”?
Who do you need to pursue?
Who do you need to be a better friend to?
Who is God asking you to forgive?
I pray God heals you, teaches you discernment, gives you patience, and brings sweet mutual friendships that point you to Jesus.
A REAL FRIEND
by Grace Driscoll
Stands with you in the desert times and the flourishing times…pointing you to Jesus.
Listens so they can love you, guide you, correct you…pointing you to Jesus.
Holds your trust by being safe…pointing you to Jesus.
Keeps conversations confidential…pointing you to Jesus.
Gives grace when you are struggling…pointing you to Jesus.
Loves you whether you are doubting or confident in life’s journey…pointing you to Jesus.
Sees your scars and rejoices in healing…pointing you to Jesus.
Laughs when you laugh and helps you have fun…pointing you to Jesus.