You know it’s there when you stroll into a room full of people. You can sense if it’s there or if it isn’t. It’s presence is warm and accepting. It cannot be manufactured or faked. It doesn’t need a verbal announcement–it just is. It’s love and it’s powerful.
Last week, I had the privilege of experiencing the love of friends. Old friendships rekindled and new friendships being shaped by God’s own hands. Love is the common red thread running through each one. Selfless, caring, intuitive, grace-filled, considerate, generous, empathetic, and servant hearted love. Without it, our relationships would grow stale, cold, and shallow–easily uprooted and easily replaced.
Let me ask you–what kind of friendships do you tend to have?
What kind of friends do you tend to attract?
Does genuine lasting friendship come naturally to you?
Do potential friends always measure up to the expectation floating around in your head? My kids and I speak often about friendships and I seem to repeat the same sentences to them.
“Be the kind of friend you want others to be towards you.”
“To have friends–you need to be a friend.”
For me, friendship is something that needs conscious investing in for it to grow. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe that friendships are able to nurture themselves. In my life, if a relationship is withering, I must first ask myself if I did my part. In the same way, if I have a friendship that’s grown stale, there could be a few reasons for that too. We may not want to face it, but it might just be time for a friendship re-evaluation.
You know, we may find ourselves a little overdue in the weeding department. Sometimes, before we know it, things creep in. Our own sin has a way of choking out friendship. Any unforgiveness, bitterness, insecurity, jealousy, covetousness, co-dependency, lack of boundaries, lies, or pride may just need a firm uprooting. Those are the briars that I can’t stand seeing in me. They’re so ugly and painful. I’ve found that if I don’t deal with them in all honesty before God, the sin will win, and my friendship will fade. In contrast, when those choking weeds are laid at the feet of my Savior, I find that I give God the access to bless, nourish, and bear fruit in my relationships.
For me, lasting friendships bloom with petals of love, a tremendous amount of grace, and drip in consistent mutual prayer. Each friend seems to draw out a new budding branch in my life and I’m so grateful for such loving friends–
…they are gifts from God.
…they are used by God to change my life.
…they know who they are and I love them!
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:12-14
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9