True Friendship

True Friendship

Mr. EE pointed out I haven’t blogged in a long time. I guess I just haven’t had time to blog, nor much time to think about anything too significant for too long for that matter.

Things that have been on my mind:

1) I am soooo lazy. I think when I am on my own I will be a terrible person/polluter and use all plastic cups, plates, and utensils.

2) Relationships. I wouldn’t even know where to begin a post on my recent relationship thoughts. I guess in summary, relationships take work. Work and communication. And vulnerability.

And for any of those things to align and create a meaningful relationship that brings more light to each other and to the world, you must have Jesus at the center.

3) Friendships. Had great text-convo with Mizz D tonight about what it means to be a true friend. I guess I shall blog on that.

Truth be told, I have been a pretty bad friend for most of my life, so I don’t feel very qualified to talk about this. But thanks be to God He’s changing me and He’s teaching me to be a better friend.

I think for so long I’ve decided on friends and have tried be a friend by following this principle: true friends will always agree with you.

Or maybe I didn’t really think that’s what true friends were, but that was the principle I operated on.

Now I think I’m realizing the following truth: true friends will not always agree with you, but they will always be on your side.

I think that’s how God is. He definitely does not agree with everything we think or do, but if we are in Christ, He will always be on our side and will always desire the best for us. And not only does He desire those things, but He communicates them too.

In the same way, if we are a good friend, we should not agree with everything our friends are doing, being that each person on this earth is still struggling with indwelling sin. It is not loving if I see a brother or sister in sin, yet do not try to encourage holiness in them. In fact I am obligated to do so! True friendship is not being permissive with friends. (As an aside, though we are obligated to spur one another toward holiness, I think a true friend will also seek to address such wrongdoing in a gracious and loving manner.)

In addition to spurring one another on through such correction, a true friend is also someone who you know will always be on your side, someone who will always desire good for you and communicates that openly through acts of love. The love languages come to mind: touch, time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service.

Part of being on your side also includes advocacy. A true friend is an advocate for the other party before God and before others.

True friends pray for one another and implore God on the other’s behalf. They pray before they correct. They are prayerful about their words and how they speak with you (do we not all remember the silly, but oh so wise sounding friends of Job?).

True friends also advocate for you before others. True friends do not gossip. They are quick to cover. They do not tear you down and expose you in your absence.

So frankly, in light all this, despite saying I’m an improving friend at the beginning of this post, I’m actually a pretty terrible friend. I am sensitive and get upset and defensive when people call me out. I am terrible about speaking truth to others and opt instead for the easier route of agreement that will seemingly benefit me more. I am selfish with my affections and do not openly give love. I gossip. I often do not act as an advocate for others before God.

It is good that I realize this, and good that I can see where I need to improve and what I need to be more conscious of.

But in the end, it is really only the grace of God that enables me to be a friend. When I am secure in God and His friendship with me, I can begin being a friend to others using Christ as my source and example.

Jesus gives life and hope to me and my friendships. He lovingly points out where I fall short, affirms me of His love and acceptance, then empowers me to be a better friend. He is my biggest advocate, His Spirit constantly interceding on my behalf. He covers me with the ultimate act of covering: the covering of sin.

Jesus is the ultimate friend. I can only hope to be more like Him in this lifetime that I might shine greater light into this world.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

-John 15:13

Thank You, Jesus. Thank you, Friend.

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