I asked all the girls in my small group once, who is currently having issues with their friends that are girls. Much to my surprise, nearly EVERYONE raised their hands. I was shocked. I thought I was the only one.
How many of you readers out there have problems with your girl friends? Am I not alone again? It seems that deep wounds and bitterness are quite popular amongst girls than love and joy. Lord, what is Your definition of a friend?
I’ve been asking the Lord this question for awhile now. Though there are many verses that include the word “friend,” only one verse stands out to me:
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
I once had a dream where a woman who was mentoring me at the time came to me and told me to not live with a friend because she was not kind. I woke up confused because to me, I felt that she was super fun and considerate. But a few weeks later, our friendship started to crumble right before my eyes. I was so confused.
As I look at the Lord, my relationship with Dustin, Scriptures and my own mistakes, these are my thoughts regarding finding and keeping quality friends:
1. Have the right vision: relationships are doorways into encountering God’s goodness and also to grow in Christlikeness and Christ laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13). Holiness or Christlikeness leads us to true happiness, not someone who will comfort us, encourage us and be there for us. Although these qualities are very important to look for in a friend, oftentimes I find myself looking for and valuing those qualities above having God’s vision and purpose for friendships.
2. Communicate: Are we willing to lay down our pride, our own righteousness to be honest with our friends when they hurt us, and also receive rebuke when we have hurt them? I was too afraid in the past to lose friends so I did not speak the truth. This led to built up bitterness, pain and eventually anger for both parties. This is a big huge NO NO for me especially. I’m asking the Lord and walking in increasing courage to speak up when necessary. Most likely, our friends don’t want to hurt us but when we do not communicate, it gives the Devil room to whisper lies into our hearts and for seeds of bitterness to take root. Yes, we need to walk in discernment and not confront our friends about everything she did that hurt us, but we can’t just take everything to the Lord all the time either (speaking from experience). It is through conflict and resolution that relationships mature and blossom not through a conflict free environments. (“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 27:6)
3. Accept that relationships change: I hate change. Hate it! But we live in an ever changing world with a God who takes us through unpredictable seasons. People move and change. It’s difficult to live an ocean away from a friend, trying to figure out how often it’s ok to contact that person, but it’s a part of life. It’s difficult and painful many times but the Lord loves to comfort us and heal our wounded hearts.
4. Jesus is your best friend: He has said that to me so many times, “I am your best friend” when I’m crying about my struggles with my friends. At first I thought it was so cliché. (Haha…imagine me telling Jesus that He’s cliché. I actually didn’t I just mumbled it inside my mind but it’s the same as saying it out loud to Him. Haha.) This year greater meaning filled those few words He would say to me so often in seasons past. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that only He can comfort my heart in the way that I need to be comforted, not just trite words or a hug, but to really love me at all times and be with me through all my adversities (Prov. 17:17). He is my best friend and it’s not just an answer the Lord gave me to shut me up but to comfort me that He has not abandoned me. He will always be there for me. He will speak truth and heal me.