We can all benefit from deeper friendships.
I quickly learned as a young girl how important friends are. I chose friends that would influence me for good and, looking back, I see that this was one of the best decisions I ever made in my entire life. Some of my best memories are with my friends and they have been there for me in both the hard and the amazing times.
As you choose your friends, think about that. Who will be a steady friend, not one who is there one minute and gone the next? Who has strong character? The Bible says that righteous friends are a benefit, but wicked friends will lead you down the wrong path.
“One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
We want to choose friends who can give us wise counsel and help keep us in God’s Word and on the right path. In turn, we want to be able to help our friends in the same way.
Friendship isn’t one-sided. It’s just as important to be an awesome friend as it is to choose one.
Here are two ways to be a better friend:
1. Be an Encourager
We need people to rally around us and cheer us on! Everyone has hard days or discouraging moments and we need people to remind us that we can do it, we can get back up, and that we are valued. Your friends should know that you are their biggest fan and their greatest cheerleader.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
How can you do that for your friends today?
Maybe you bake some cookies for your friend just as a special gift to let them know you appreciate them. Write them a sweet note or encourage them in their work and what they do well. The best thing of all sometimes is to just sit, listen to them and give a hug when they are going through something hard.
2. Point Them to Christ
Just like we hope to have friends who influence us for Christ, we must do that for others. Good friends remind their friends of the truth of God’s word when they need to hear it. In hard times it is easy to forget that God loves us, He has our best interest in mind, and His plan is perfect. It is our jobs as a friend to remind them of this lovingly.
In the same way, we should hold our friends accountable. Sometimes we have to gently call our friends out if they are living in a way that doesn’t honor God. This should only be done after much prayer – there is a right time and place for this.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
It should also be done without other people around and with love, kindness, and humility. All sin is sin. We are no better than they are.
“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”
We were designed to be in a community of loving, supportive, there-for-you type of friends. And it’s a joy to be a good friend to others too! I’m cheering you on to be an amazing friend today!