Friendship.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out”

-Walter Winchell

Ahhh Friendship. A concept that will never die down, but it’s amazing how very little many people understand about it. We have so many outlets like social media that make us think we have friends, but do we really? Do you have friends? I don’t mean text buddy friends, or hang out every once in awhile friends. I mean true, genuine, pick you up when you’re down, correct you when you’re wrong, go to war with you type of friends? Maybe you need more definitions and examples, so this article is completely dedicated to friendship and what it means to have and be a friend.

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of a friend we could ever have. A man, who laid his life down for His friends. If we take a look at Romans 5:7-8, we see “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In this, God shows us that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for a bunch of people who did not even deserve it. Now  as we relate this to life today, you might be thinking this is a bit extreme. Why should you have to die for a friend? John 15:13 tell us “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” …. would you die for your “friends?” It’s such a high standard isn’t it? Think it over.
Too many of us are confusing our “acquaintances” and temporary “friends,” for our ACTUAL friends. This is why we walk around so disappointed calling everybody “fake,” screaming “I got fake friends showing fake love to me.” If we knew the definition of a real friend, we wouldn’t be so easily bruised and hurt when people bail on us. So let me help you guys out.

True friendship is loving that friend ALL THE TIME, not just when it is convenient for us.

Sometimes our friends are hard to deal with and complicated. We didn’t deserve Jesus dying for our sins, but he did it anyway. Sometimes your friend doesn’t deserve your time or energy, will you give it anyway? How many of us have hit one bump in the road with a friend and completely given up on them or they gave up on us? If so, was that really your friend?

True friendship is not about quantity, but quality.

In reality, having a ton of “friends” is dangerous territory. I can almost guarantee SOMEBODY in that number is not really down for you. This goes for time as well. More recently, I’ve had people I just met be better friends and show more love to me than those who claimed to be my friends for years, so amount of time essentially means nothing. If you have tons of people fluttering towards you to be your friend, something is wrong. You’re attracting what’s easy. You’re attracting people that don’t have to work to be your friend. They are just there, waiting for the next person to come along that shines brighter than you. Pick the ones who make an effort. Pick the ones who will screen shot something you said and call you out on it. Pick the ones who send random uplifting texts or pictures for no reason at all. Pick the ones who will pick up the phone and come over at 2am if you need them to. Not a lot of people will do this, hence why quality is more important. Don’t pick the ones who constantly smile in your face, waiting for you to tell the next joke or make the next move. Pick ones who choose to move with you.

True friendship sometimes hurts (in a good way)

Proverbs 27:6 reads “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” This is saying when a real friend corrects you, or criticizes you, it is to help strengthen you and help you grow. Enemies like to see you weak and failing, so they’ll keep giving you kisses and cheering you on in the wrong direction. Never trust friends that are always going along with you and never calling you out. A real friend tells you when you’re right AND wrong. But great thing is, you’ll probably be mad at them  for a little, but they’ll always be there for you when you get over it. I have tested this theory in my own life. I would purposely do something wrong and I took note of those who corrected me vs. those who encouraged me to be petty and continue my wrongful behavior. It was so enlightening.

True friendship makes you stronger

Please stop giving time and attention to people who only want just that: time and attention.  These people are going to drain you. Proverbs 27:17 reads “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Your friends are supposed to be fighting this fight right along WITH you, not competing to get to the finish line. As the scripture says, Iron sharpens iron. You guys are in this fight TOGETHER!!! Encourage your friends, be there for them for however long they need you to be, correct them, laugh with them, cry with them, don’t do things around them if you know they’re working towards something (For example, if you know your friend is trying to forgive someone, DON’T ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE PETTY ABOUT THAT PERSON). People who don’t know what friendship means will tell you that person is grown, can make their own decisions, forget about them, “focus on you,” and you don’t need to be there for them. See that’s where so many people miss it. If  you claim that’s your friend, YES YOU DO. We all go through rough patches. That’s why we need another piece of iron to sharpen us and keep us strong.

In conclusion,

You need friends and support systems in your life. It is best not to do this alone. Everyone needs someone and I am a firm believer that God strategically places the people we need in our lives. The devil likes to get his hands in there too, so we need to be able to recognize what is real and what isn’t. You don’t have time for people who would rather tweet about you than come talk to you when they have an issue. You can’t keep baby sitting people who refuse to change their harmful actions. Your soul can’t afford to be around people who purposely keep you from moving forward. You don’t have time for “friends” who blatantly see you’re hurt, withdrawn or angry, but don’t stop what they’re doing to send a simple uplifting word (if they can’t get to you in person). Stop worrying about people who always throw shade on you and others. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. If nothing is working then it is time to let go…. BUT…

Please don’t become friends with someone if you aren’t ready to become selfless (i.e “die”like the scripture in the beginning). Selfish people will never make good friends. Believe it or not, everything we do should be about serving and loving someone else who needs us, even if they can’t return the favor.

PLEASE don’t forget to take everything I said and reverse the roles. Make sure YOU are all the things you expect your friends to be. As Lyfe Jennings once said, “Don’t be a nickle out here looking for a dime.” Be loyal if you want loyalty. Be truthful, if you want honesty. Also remember that sometimes people aren’t supposed to stay in our lives forever. Sometimes you get pulled in different directions. Just make sure while they were there, you did your part. (notice I didn’t say “they did their part?”) – make sure YOU did YOURS. Somebody won’t get that, but it is so essential that you do.

If everyone makes sure they do their part, all parts are covered, right? Go be a friend.

Stay encouraged 🙂

-Jordyn Austin 

 

 

 

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