Friendship in the dictionary means: “the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends.” Some synonyms of friendship are: “relationship, close relationship, attachment, mutual attachment, association, bond, tie, link, union.” When you look at those words and you think of the friends in your life is this what you consider to have with them?
I was reading a devotional last night on “Deepening Your Relational Circles”. The devotional series itself is called “Simplify- Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul”. In this specific devotional it talks about what Solomon said in Proverbs chapter 13:20-
” Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
When we surround ourselves with foolish people we can become just like them. When we surround ourselves with negative people, we can become negative. It also says this is 1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” I have learned over time that the friendships I want to have are with people that are loving, caring, honest, positive, supportive, because I want that character to rub off on me. I can honestly say that the few friends that I have close to me in my life have those qualities.
Life ultimately is too short to surround yourself with people who will have nothing but a negative impact on your life. There also is a balance in this as well. In an earlier blog I talked about how God places certain people in your life for a reason. Sometimes that reason isn’t to be “friends” with them, but to plant that seed of Christ in their lives. As humans we tend to think we can “fix” everyone, and sometimes as a Christ follower we THINK that is our job. It is not our job, it is their job to accept Christ and follow him, we cannot force people to do that. So when God places those negative people in our life it is usually to try and plant that seed and lift them up to God. When doing this sometimes friendships do form, but know that if that friendship doesn’t have “love, joy, peace, patient, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control” as it says in Galatians 5:22-23, then it is ok to let it go. It is ok to understand that maybe God put them in your life to lift them up but only to do so for a brief period and then to let them go.
This has been a hard concept for me and one that I am still learning. I am a very passionate person when it comes to those I care about, those that I would call friends. Some of those people I am still friends with and some I have lost. Those that I have lost were not meant to be in my life. I am getting better at accepting that, but it hasn’t been easy. I would say one of my best qualities of being a friend is the support and love that I put into it. I am in no way boasting about myself, but being honest with myself. I put a lot of effort into any friendship that I have, and sometimes I don’t receive that reciprocation. If you have friendships like that know that it is ok. It is okay that you aren’t receiving that back, because maybe God is just placing them in your life for another reason than to be “friends”. Pray about it and ask God what is this person doing in your life. He will revel that to you. In the mean time, don’t beat yourself up asking why they aren’t being what you consider a true friend to you. Why aren’t they showing those qualities it says in Galatians, because there is another purpose for them in your life than to be friends.
I am forever grateful for each person that I have close to me in my life now. Those people that I can consider my friends are those I hope and pray to always have close to me and like I said I am learning over time that it is ok to let people into your life, but ultimately not remain close to them. This doesn’t mean they are a bad person, or you did something wrong, it just means God had a purpose for them in your life and that purpose has been served.
I hope this may have given you some insight on evaluating the people you have close to you. I pray that God gives you those answers when you ask him ‘why have you placed this person in my life?’ But I also pray that you continue to allow people into your life because you never know what purpose God has for them and why he chose you for that purpose.