“I thank God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
This year has been very tough for one of my friendships. Last summer, my best friend was diagnosed with depression. She struggled immensely trying to deal with what has happened in the past and her feelings now, to try and remove the wall built around her heart and trust God's plan for the future, despite all the hurt and pain. Since then, I have learned it is hard to be there for someone prone often to mood swings and irrational behavior. Yet, despite all these things, through this year I have seen our friendship grow so much and have experienced God move my hurt and at times anger to help me to be there for someone who needs me. I may not always understand, but God is showing me how much my beautiful friend needs and values my friendship.
Friendships can be hard can't they?
They can involve work to keep in touch with a friend who has moved away, to have a forgiving attitude, to overlook a friend's faults or to reach out to a friend in need when that’s not easy. The friendship of Paul and Timothy with those they visited and spent time with is incredibly moving. They cared so much about people they had never even met that they were pleased not only to share the gospel of the Lord with them but also their own lives (1 Thessalonians 2:8). How wonderful it is to not hold back our lives, experiences and wisdom but to share freely with our friends and those around us.
Friendships are something God gives His people, from Elijah and Elisha, to Ruth and Naomi, to Jesus and His disciples. In the gospels, we see clearly how Jesus Himself invested in the lives of 12 chosen disciples and ended up transforming their lives.
Given love, care, time and patience our friendships with those around us can grow in the knowledge of the love and care Jesus has shown to us. To be thankful to God every time we think of someone who invests and has an impact in our lives is certainly rewarding.
Sweet sister, let us reach out today in our friendships, to those in whose lives we see the longing for Jesus' love and those we pray for, love and simply cannot turn away from. Let us pray for help from our Savior to face the challenges we do in our friendships with a godly and selfless attitude.
Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of friendship. Thank You Jesus for the loving and constant friendship You show to us every day of our lives. Thank You for walking with us, comforting us and Your never ending compassion for us. Help us to be able to share that with our friends and others around us. Yet, we confess that so often we fall short of Your glory and being the friends that we ought to be. We pray that You will help us to grow in our friendships and to be patient and loving as they grow stronger and become a testimony to Your love and blessings on us. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Ponder: "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another, and forgive each other. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17a (NKJV)
Apply: Read through the Colossians verse, and pray about how you can demonstrate these qualities in your friendships.
Read: Every Teen Girl's Little Pink Book on Girlfriends by Cathy Bartel
Share: How are you going to practice loving your friends more?
© 2010 by Josephine Backhouse. All rights reserved.
Jo Backhouse attends University of Leicester in England. She enjoys writing her own songs, playing the piano, hanging out with friends and watching movies. Jo can do sign language and her favorite food is lasagna. She also speaks German, French and a little Spanish and Italian. Her favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 2:8-10 because it reminds her that we are saved by God’s grace and it talks about the good plans God has for us.
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