True Friendship: It’s Possible

Women can be so catty. You see it on soap operas and rom coms and at the playground and even in church. We can get offended easily and brandish our claws. Even worse, we are experts at putting on a “bless your heart” smile and acting like best friends.

This is bizarre.

Now, I am aware that the Bible says to love our enemies. I wholeheartedly agree. What it doesn’t say is to make them your confidants and practice the Art of War on them. You know, the whole bit about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?

I think there are scores of women out there that think superficial friendships are all they can have. That they have to pretend to be something they aren’t to fit in, or else they develop close relationships with people they have nothing in common with. Perhaps they think that being best friends with people who are mean to them is the best they can do.

I used to think that.

I wasn’t popular in school. Kinda invisible actually. I had a “friend” who sometimes acted like a friend and sometimes didn’t. She’d set me up on dates and have me over quite a bit. I would tell embarrassing secrets to her because I thought I could trust her, but she would tell everyone. Including people involved in it. Not the best way to become visible. And yet, I still kept this friendship strong because I thought it was the best I could do.

After the Lord turned my heart back to Himself, I realized that a bonus to having a friendship with Him is that I could have close bonds with my fellow believers. It was possible.

friends

We didn’t have to be deceitful or backbiting. We could share our hearts and not fear betrayal. We could encourage and not judge. We could sharpen our relationship with Christ and not dull it.

The discovery was refreshing to say the least.

I hear all too often of churches where people gather on Sundays. The end. No furthering of relationships in the congregation. Just worshipping every Sunday with acquaintences.

I don’t think that is what the Lord had in mind for His church.

We ought to be doing life together. Having each other into our homes and inviting each other into our lives. I am not saying zero discernment is involved. No, there are still foxes in with the sheep. But the idea that the church is your family means that the least you can do is be friends.

The texts messages. The babysitting. The coffee in the gazebo with mustaches on. (It’s a long story…) The “praying for yous”. The girls’ nights. The encouragement. The rebuke when really needed. The listening ear.

These are all priceless things. And they all come with no strings attached. No terms or limitations.

Oh, how I wish many of you could only know what a true Christ-honoring friendship is like. I wish I could take you who have been burned into my circle of friends so you could see how wonderful it really can be.

You know what though? It is possible.

I think a lot of what makes a friendship in Christ different is that it is others oriented. We are endeavoring Christlikeness, so we put our friends before ourselves… the whole idea of “others.” This mindset takes off the pressure of looking cool and what you are getting out of the relationship.

If you ever look up “one another” in the Bible, you will find an amazing amount of verses. In the New Testament, there are a lot of things we are supposed to do with fellow Christians. Here’s a limited list:

  • love (again and again and again)
  • live peacefully with 
  • not pass judgment on (referring to a judge sentencing a guilty party – not our job)
  • not cause to stumble
  • “mutual upbuilding” (I love the sound of that!)
  • instruct
  • welcome and greet
  • care for
  • serve
  • bear burdens
  • value
  • submit (put before yourself)
  • be honest with 
  • forgive
  • encourage
  • to good to 
  • stir up to love and good works
  • confess sins to (“be real with”)
  • have fellowship with
  • speak kindly about

Such a lovely list to see! I tell you this is what real friendship can look like. Spirit-led believers building each other up. It’s not as common as it should be, but if we each do our part, we can experience the blessing of friendships based on our bond in Christ. It is possible.

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