Friends , How many of us have them?
Friends, Ones we can depend on
From the very beginning, in Genesis 2:18a, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” From that point forward, humans have been social creatures ever since. Whether in romantic relationships or platonic friendships, God never intended for us to be alone. Yet, sometimes we may find ourselves in situations of being alone or friendless. What do we do then?
For me, I found myself in this space at the start of 2020. I had started my very new walk with God and I longed for Christian friends. I searched high and low for people who were where I was at that time. It was even part of of my New Year’s resolution/list, but I was still faced with the same thing: being alone and hoping for friends to come along. As the pandemic happened, it occurred to me the chances of being able to find a friend were becoming slimmer and slimmer. I thought to myself, “How am I supposed to find a friend, in the middle of a pandemic, chasing after God, and who I get along with?”
As soon as I asked He answered on February 5th, 2020 promising me that He would send someone to help me. Now at first, my mind jumped to husband (but we’ll talk about that in another blog). God said He was sending help, not a mate lol. However, Holy Spirit reminded me of something very important: how can I ask for something, and not prepare for it. Proverbs 30:25 talks about how ants aren’t strong and because of it they store food up in the summer in preparation for what is to come. If I was going to ask God for friend, I needed to learn how to be a good one.
As I walked through Barnes & Noble one day, a book literally called out to me. It stopped me right in my tracks. As I picked it up and begin to read the back cover, it felt as if God placed exactly what I needed in my hands. It was a book centered around cultivating godly friendships and what they look like. I kid you not, I read this book everyday, still not giving up hope on what God had promised. As July rolled around, my now best friend showed up in my life and we haven’t stopped talking everyday since (not joking, I checked the phone log for this). I had only met her twice altogether in 2019, but it was unmistakeable that God literally sent her to me. Had I not prepared for her, I’m pretty sure (and I’m sure she’ll give me a stern talking to after this) that we would not have made it as friends or even best friends.
After starting my first ever godly gal pal friendship, I’ve learned so much about God, myself, and friendship. I am reminded Philippians 4:8-9, it reads:
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
This was addressed to the church in Philippi through Paul, but this is also for any believer’s walk of faith, and for me, in friendship. There are eight things here that I want to focus on for those pursuing or already in godly friendships.
Number 1 “Whatever things are true”: We have to think about the truth and what honesty means inside of our friendships. John 8:32 says “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Learning how to be honest was nothing new to me, but learning how to be honest about ALL things was a different story. Never in my life had I been able to relay how I truly felt and thought to anyone except God, but now it was part of my friendship. Also, I’m reminded of John 4:24 where it says God is looking for His children to worship Him in spirit and in truth. If God is seeking for us to be truthful and honest with Him, shouldn’t we be able to do that with friends He gave us? Out of love, God gave us the truth, which is Jesus Christ, so out of love (not malice) should we be able to give and receive the truth.
Number 2 “Whatever things are noble”: Being noble is synonymous with words like righteous, virtuous, good, honorable. Sounds like qualities that anyone should have in a friend. It sounds like qualities we should have in ourselves as well. David outlined it perfectly in Psalms 15:2-3:
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
Number 3 “Whatever things are just”: Are you being fair? Are you being an unbiased friend? Honesty and being just go hand in hand. Ask yourself this: can I stand up and remind my friend of consequences of their actions, especially when it comes to sin. Habakkuk 2:4 AMPC reads, “Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him, but the [rigidly] just and the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.” A godly friend never compromises in faith nor encourages their companions to do the same.
Number 4 “Whatever things are pure”: As believers, we seek after purification everyday in dying to self and repenting daily. But what about our friends? Us? I love how 1 John 3:3 reminds us that in our wait for Christ’s return, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.“ Everyday, we have a chance to be more Christ-like, starting with the renewing power of the blood that cleanses us. Not only our soul, but everything about us: conversation, media, music, etc. I had to relearn quickly that worked in previous friendships wouldn’t work here. 2 Timothy 2:22 spells it out for us all, “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
Number 5 “Whatever things are lovely”: I think this was the hardest one for me to tackle because how do you know if you’re actually fun to be around. I began to question my tone and intentionality with my words. I honestly worried about what would happen if we ever fought because I knew how mean I could be. Thank God that He’s still working on me in this area, but Proverbs 16:24 reminds us that, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Number 6 “Whatever things are of good report”: Just as we should not be ashamed to share the Gospel (Romans 1:16), don’t be afraid to share it with your friend! One night around 11pm, I can remember calling my best friend to just share a revelation God gave me concerning a scripture I had just read. Instead of her shooing me off the phone, she joined in with the same excitement. Many a nights, we have been on the phone until the wee hours of the morning discussing the goodness of the Lord. Matthew 18:20 told us that “…where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” If that happens to be at noon or midnight, so be it. It’s a reminder that God is not only touching our lives, but others around us and together we can go tell all the world.
Number 7 “if there is any virtue”: It’s not by chance that Proverbs 31 highlights an entire chapter devoted to what a virtuous woman looks like. She is not only desired by her husband, but look at what else she does. Verse 15 states that “She also rises while it is yet night,And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.” Verse 25-26 reads that “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Someone who has virtue is generous, holds wisdom and has strength in God.
Number 8 “if there is anything praiseworthy”: Last but not least, celebrate with each other! Proverbs 14:30 notes this, “A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.” If you find yourself, starting to envy your friend or covet their things, ask God to remove that feeling because not only does it weigh on your mind but your body.
I know what you’re thinking: THIS IS SO MUCH TO REMEMBER! Trust me, I get it. However, if you don’t understand anything else, remember this: Jesus Christ is the greatest friend and He shows us what it means to be one. Follow after Him.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
John 15:13 NKJV
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