“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” -Proverbs 18:24
The term “friend” is used very loosely, and it bothers me- maybe more than it should. I use that title selectively, because it has so much meaning, which we often forget. I catch myself making the mistake of misusing the word sometimes, as well.
Jesus put people on the earth partly so He could have friends- people that would love Him, talk to Him, and so that He would have someone to share His creation with. That really stands out to me- that one of the reasons Jesus created us is to be a friend, have friends, and be His friend! Therefore, friendships are a big deal, and no doubt important!
I recently heard my pastor say that you shouldn’t consider anyone a true friend unless you can grab them by the hand and pray with them with zero awkwardness! It sounds so obvious! Of course we should base our friendships on God! Yet, it’s a karate-chop to the face, because we realize we don’t do it! I know, I know, it’s a whole lot easier said than done.
Samuel 18:1-4 talks about the friendship of David and Jonathan, and how it was solely based on Jesus. This caught my attention, mainly because teenagers could definitely work on this one. A lot of friendships are based off gossip or jealousy and maybe even off of fear! Most of the time it’s hard to see that until it gets out of hand.
Another thing David and Jonathan did was they made sure not to let anything get in the way of their friendship- no family problems, no career complications, nothing! That is something both of them had to work towards, but the bond between them was very strong. The thing is, we could all get that same bond with someone, we just have to be willing to put in the work for it.
My strongest friendships are all with people from different schools. In fact, I’ve got close friends in completely different states, hundreds of miles away from me! How does that work? We make a point to work towards our friendship. Long distance friendships? No problem! My out-of-state friends and I all did Christmas with each other- we mailed each other our presents, and we even have a traveling journal floating around to each other all over the United States!
I struggled with finding true friends all through elementary school. I prayed daily that Jesus would give me someone that I could be best friends with from my school, but I often got the same answer. It was the answer that I wasn’t ready yet- I needed to become a true friend myself first.
The first day of middle school brought me my best guy friend, and we’ve stuck together since then. It hasn’t been easy, though. There’s been difficult choices, me moving schools, and a lot of fear that things wouldn’t work out with big changes. But, Jesus always holds us together somehow. I thank Him everyday for that!
I believe we have lifelong friends, and friends who stay with us through seasons of our lives. I’ve had the privilege of having a friend who I’ve known since I was two, and we have an unbreakable bond. She is so special to me, and dear to my heart! I’ve also had a ton of friends for short periods, and each friendship has taught me its own valuable lesson that has brought me to where I am today. Jesus truly makes beauty out of pain!
If you’re struggling with finding a true friend, then I highly encourage you to seek to become one yourself. It will come in handy later! Pray every time you think about your situation, and learn from past experiences what you want in a friend. I promise that Jesus knows what He’s doing! He’s got you!