Posted by: Rolf | July 12, 2008

How to Deepen Your Friendships…

How many really good friends do you have? Think about the people you’d consider your closest friends. What is the quality of those friendships? How do you feel around your friends? Do you feel comfortable and accepted? Do you feel they like the real you? Or do you feel you’re not good enough, or you have to put on an act?

How do you deal with differences of opinion? Do your friends listen to you and treat your thoughts and opinions with respect? Are you able to share your heart with them—your innermost thoughts and feelings? Are you able to rely on them for help when you need it? Do your friends respect the things you tell them in confidence? Can you trust them to keep things confidential that you don’t want spread around?

Are you honest with each other? Does your friend help you recognize your personal faults when he or she feels you need it? If you pointed out a problem to your friend, would he or she accept it? Do your friends help you to be a better person? Do you feel they’re behind you when you try to improve your life? Do they make it easier or more difficult for you to grow and change?

Now think about this: How would the people you consider your closest friends answer those questions about you? What sort of quality friend are you?We all need contact with other people. We crave it—even the shy person who finds talking with people excruciating. God created us to be social beings. He says it’s not good for a man to be alone. We need companionship. We need to feel understood by other people. We need to be able to share ourselves openly.

Our Creator’s way of life is the way of give. Christ encapsulated this way in two great commandments: love God and love your neighbor. That means we have to be around people. Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way: People need people in order to learn how to love! How could you really learn the give way of life if you were stranded on a desert island with no one to give to?

Consider what a genuine blessing the people in your life are. Where would you be without them? Each one presents you an opportunity to exercise love. What can you do to increase your bond of friendship with all those around you? And what about those you consider your closest friends—how can you mine those relationships for more of the enriching benefits they offer?

Aristotle once said, “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit.” Yes—friendship takes effort to fertilize and nurture, but it is worth the effort. How valuable is a friendship with real roots that will last your whole life long.

You may not realize it, but God’s Word supplies us with instruction on maximizing our friendships. It speaks of the qualities we ought to strive to cultivate in our friendships. These qualities will both increase what you have to offer to your friends and will likely inspire greater desire within your friends to feed your friendship.

True friends do not feel threatened by each others achievements. They are not in competition with one another, trying to be on top. They genuinely desire each others success—they want for each to reach his or her full potential.

Being a friend means giving the other person room to change and grow; wanting him or her to become a better person. Even more—it means helping your friend grow. Friends help each other overcome and solve problems.

In His Grip and Serving Grace…

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