For the past couple of weeks, actually months, God has been pressing upon my heart and spirit concerning “friendships”. After years of never really “feeling” that friendships were necessary, my desires have quickly been shifted…though I had [have] some of what I consider(ed) good or great friends.
All of this has caused me to do self-examination. This is who I once was:
Sweet on the outside, yet still….
Loveless: I didn’t understand what it meant to love outside of the family….or even love at all, so I never could extend the love [of God] needed to others
Broken: Back then, I didn’t consider my home broken, but we were a broken family that needed healing…and because of my brokenness, I was insensitive to the needs of others.
Passively controlling: Instead of telling you what to do, I just got angry when you didn’t do what I thought should be done.
Intimidated: I feared having friends who had stronger friendships with others, thus, fearing the possibility of being abandoned and hurt.
In surrendering to Christ, He began to teach me the image of a friend and what friendship looks like through His eyes. Then, a little over a year ago, our family moved from a place of familiarity to a place of unfamiliarity. Although the move has been, what I consider, a divine move of God, that which was comfortable to me was no longer. Why it took relocation, I do not know, but now more than ever, I am discovering the importance of lasting godly “friendships” and true friends.
For a short time, it became to where I was trying to force relationships rather than waiting on God to establish them….or rather than having none nearby. Believe me when I say it was ONLY “for a short time.” (SMH @ myself) Some friendships are just not meant and these friendships can become “growth stunting” rather than “growth stimulating”. As iron sharpens iron, one person [should] sharpen another (Proverbs 27:17).
The most important friendship I have ever established is that with God….then, those friendships within my home are very important to me, as well.
What I have learned….and am continuously learning:
Be friends with few: “The man of many friends will prove himself a bad friend…” (Prov. 18:24)
Befriend Jesus: “…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24)
Love: “A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:7)
Friendship is sweet: “Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel…” (Prov. 27: 9)
….and OH so much more.
True friends don’t always have to speak, but the few words spoken are sweet counsel. True friends don’t always have to agree, but always have to [and are willing to] love.
The Spirit teaches us all things and He is teaching me…..I’m no longer passively controlling or intimidated by friendship, but healed, full of love, and open to friendships established by God.
What does friendship mean to you? What does friendship ‘look’ like to you?