As a child, I was always close to the Lord. I wanted to read the bible, go to church, do anything to get closer to him. I didn't care what others thought. I just wanted to live for God. But, there was one problem with my worldview. I thought I just needed God and no one else. I didn't want friends or other people to get close to me.
My husband remembers me telling him while we were dating that, "I don't need friends, I only need Jesus." He said he thought, "She REALLY needs Jesus." In my journey to draw closer to God, I somehow missed that he made us to be in relationship with each other. I had to learn how to interact and invest in others.
As an introvert, that was hard. I didn't really care to spend time with anyone else. Luckily, my husband is an extreme extrovert and has rubbed off on me. Now, I seek out friendship and relationships so that I can connect and be relational with others. I try to be a godly friend. Here are 4 essential I learned in my journey to become a godly friend.
Seek Out Friendships
One of the most important things for us to remember as Christians is that we were made to be in community. God was so concerned with his relationship with us that he sent his only son, Jesus to bring us back into community with him. Likewise, we also should be concerned with our relationship with others.
We must seek out friendship. Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we all must overcome some aspect to better seek out friendships. For the extrovert, it may be reigning in your charisma so that you don’t run others away. For an introvert, it may just be getting up enough courage to say “Hi.” Either way, we must overcome certain challenges and intentionally seek out relationships with others. Both Believers and unbelievers.
It is important to seek out believers because your friends hold influence over you. You become who you behold. They encourage and support you. You become shaped by them. As such, you want to be sure that you're surrounded by believers who will give you wise counsel and encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
You also should seek out friendships with those who are lost. You can be an influence on them. You can show them how God has moved in your life. God can use them to stretch you and pull you out of your comfort zone.
Friendships require commitment. A devotion, or loyalty that tells the other person you will stand with them and support them. Commitment requires a whole lot of intentionality. You must intentionally seek out times to invest in your friendships so that they can grow and flourish.
It’s a conscious action to pour into a relationship, regardless of how busy life gets. Giving time is so much more of a sacrifice than giving money because you can’t get it back. Decide to invest time into building up your friendships. If you find it hard to make the commitment, try to schedule it into your life. Don't be afraid to tell that person that you struggle with friendships or use that tool to help you become more committed to relationships. You can try to talk on the same day each week or meet up at the same time each month. Try anything that will help you to be more committed.
Humility and Pride are things that every Christian girl has struggled with at some point in time or another. It's that moment when you decide that you aren’t speaking to your friend because she did something to you. Or, when you are wrong and refuse to admit it. I have been so guilty of this! To take that a step further, when you are wrong and make your friend think it's her fault.
We must be humble. Why? Because “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:8) Our pride can do so much damage to our friendships and our friends. It can be used by the enemy to wreak havoc in the lives of others, and will only grow stronger as we feed our flesh more and more selfishness. We must seek to be humble in our relationships, building up our friends over ourselves.
Be a Life Giver
The last aspect of building up our friends is speaking life to them. Our words are so powerful and often can cut or push us. We should choose to be careful with what we say to our friends. Be encouraging often, and supportive of their dreams and goals. Be honest with them in a way that caters to them.
Some friends you can be blunt with, while others require a little beating around the bush (just make sure you make it to the truth!) We have to watch our tone when speaking to our friends. Maybe sometime we speak too harshly, or sometimes we don't speak up enough. Now, I'm not saying don’t be yourself because it is important to be fully known and fully loved. But, I want you to pattern your life after Jesus. He loved others well and that is what we are trying to do. We make small sacrifices to better serve others.
Think of the friends in your life who you would consider a good friend. What have they done that loved you well? How can you celebrate those godly aspects that you see in them? Evaluate your friendships and what you think your friends would say about you. Why not even ask your friends! Find out how you can be a godly friend in your relationships.