Few things matter more to us girls than our friends. Friends have the power to perk us up when we’re sad, make us laugh until our sides hurt, speak truth in love, and “get us” in ways that no one else seems to. Our friendships can also be a source of struggle. (Who hasn’t had a bad friend day or two that made them want to hide under the covers forever?)
We’re going to be talking about friendship all month here on LYWB.com. I’m guessing we’ll strike a nerve or two as I challenge you to evaluate your friendships and to focus more on being a friend than having friends. But before we dig in too deep, I want us to take a quick friendship check-up. Are your friendships healthy? Do your beliefs about friendship line up with the Word of God? Here are some quick points to ponder, straight out of God’s Word!
1. Are you careful about who you befriend and cautious about how you behave with friends?
Proverbs 12:26 says “a righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
The writer of this passage warns us that as we seek to live righteous lives, we need to approach friendship with caution. I don’t think this means that we need to be hermits who fear the dangers of friendship. But I do think that we should be mindful about who we are friends with and how we behave in the context of our friendships.
2. Are you more concerned with having true friends or many friends?
There’s a lot of pressure in middle school and high school to have lots of friends. Popularity can seem like the most important thing when you are in this stage of life. But the Bible warns against seeking the friendship of many.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
I strongly encourage you to seek to have one or two really solid friendships that fill you up and help you in your walk with Christ rather than seeking to be loved and admired by a large group of acquaintances. Here’s a secret I wish I had known as a young woman: Popularity doesn’t mean diddly, but true friendship is worth the effort.
3. Are your friends a good safety net?
The Bible makes it clear that friendship is part of God’s plan for our lives. Friends are great! But the purpose of having friends is not to stroke our egos or occupy our time or fill our Facebook profile.
Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 puts it this way: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
Our friendships are designed to hold us up when the going gets tough. A good friend will be a safety net when you fall. And being a good friend means doing the same for others. Do your friends help you up when you’ve fallen? Do you make it a point to do the same for them?
4. Are you friends with God?
Here’s a doozy! In John 15:13–15, Jesus calls us His friends. Check it out:
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.”
When you think of friendship, does Jesus come to mind? Are you taking the time to build a friendship with Him like you are with your peers? When the going gets tough, do you run to Him like a friend or call your besties for an emergency mocha intervention first?
It’s great to have friends. In fact, our friends can be one of our greatest blessings. And I think that it’s important that we explore the specifics of having godly friends and being godly friends. But our friendships must be built on the solid foundation of God’s Word and an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Looking at this list, how healthy are your friendships? Are there areas where you need some work? Does God’s truth about friendship line up with the way you approach having friends and being a friend?