Living With a Positive Mindset

The Power of Friendship: Finding and Cultivating Real Friendships

June 28, 2017

Before God  created  Eve  at  the  beginning  of  Creation,  He said  that  it’s  not  good  for  man  to  be  alone.  Sure,  creating  a  female  companion  for  Adam  meant  that  life  could  multiply,  but  that  was not  the  sole  purpose  for  Eve’s  creation.  Adam  shared  a  very  close  relationship  with  God  at  the  time,  the  world  being  perfect  and  just  how  God  intended  it  to  be.  However,  God knew  that  Adam  was  missing  out  on  a  different  sort  of  relationship:  a  friendship.

 

Of  course,  God  wants  to  be  the  most  important  thing  in  our  lives  and  He  longs  to  commune  with  us,  but  God  knows  that  humans  can’t  be  alone. Humans  need  human  friendships.

 

It  can  be  challenging  to  find  lasting  friendships.  It  can  be  hard  to  find  someone  who  is  just  as  interested  in  getting  to  know  us  as  we  are  them.  Perhaps  we  have  searched  for  someone  to  call  our  “besties”;  for  someone  with whom  we  know  will  be  friends   for  the  rest  of  our  lives.  Perhaps  we  have  many  friendships,  yet  we’re  not  confident  that  they  will  last.  Friends  come  and  go, and people  change.  This  makes  it  hard  to  make  lasting  friendships,  or  at  least to be  sure  that  they  are  true  friends.

 

“Make  no  friendship  with  an  angry  man,  And  with  a  furious  man  do  not  go,  Lest  you  learn  his  ways  and  set  a  snare  for  your  soul.” Proverbs  22:24-25

 

“He  who  walks  with  wise  men  will  be  wise,  But  the  companion  of  fools  will  be  destroyed.” – Proverbs  13:20

 

“As  iron  sharpens  iron,  So  a  man  sharpens  the  countenance  of  his  friend.” Proverbs  27:17

 

“The  righteous  should  choose  his  friends  carefully,  For  the  way  of  the  wicked  leads  them  astray.” Proverbs  12:26

 

“Do  not  be  deceived:  ‘Evil  company  corrupts  good  habits.’”  I  Corinthians  15:33

 

All  these  verses  indicate  that  the  people  whom  we  call  friends  will  impress  their character  upon  us.  Why  did  “Do  not  be  deceived”  have  to  be  added  before  the  warning  in  I  Corinthians  15:33?  Naturally  we  are  easily  deceived  when  it  comes  to  friendships.  It’s  not  black  and  white.  The  evil  companions  will  not  have  a  big  mark  on  their  forehead.  In  fact,  they  are  likely  to  be  alluring  and  exciting!  That  is  why  we  need  to  be  warned.

 

So,  if  we  are  unsure  of  who  our  true  friends  are,  how  can  we  find  out?  Here  are  3 helpful steps:

 

  • Ask  God

 

We  may  not  know  which  friendships  are  true  and  false,  but  God  does.  It’s  unlikely  that  He’ll  give  us  a  vision  or  speak  to  us  in  an  audible  voice,  but  if  we  ask  Him  to  show  us,  He  will  in  some  way.  Ask  Him  to reveal  which friendships are  true,  and  which  ones to  take  a  step  back  from.

 

 

  • Consult  the  Bible

 

When  we  read  about  God’s  guidelines  for  friendship,  we  will  have  a  clearer  idea  of  what  we  should  look  for  in  a  friend.  Perhaps  not  all  our  questions  will  be  answered,  but  we  will  be  better  informed  than  if  we  do  not  read  the  Bible  at  all.

 

 

  • Examine  our  companions

 

Have  a  look  at  our  current  friendships.  By  having  a  sort  of  overview,  we  may  be  able  to  identify  the  friendships  that  have  lasted  many  years  and  have  not  changed.  Keep  a  look  out  for  the  friendships  that  have  stayed  just  as  true  despite  long  times  apart.

 

Once  we  have  identified  those  who  are  true  friends,  or  who  could  be,  we  should  invest  our  time  in  those  friendships.  We  should  lessen  our  time  spent  with  those  superficial  friends.  Obviously,  the  more  time  we  spend  with  particular  friends,  the  more  the  bonds  will  be  strengthened.  It is the  time  spent  on  the  lasting  friendships  that  will  matter  in  the  long  run.

 

If  we  have  not  found  these  friendships,  perhaps  we  should  consider  changing  our  surroundings.  If  our  friendships  are  feeling  fake  or  non-existent,  perhaps  we  are  surrounding  ourselves  with  the  wrong  crowds.  Perhaps  we  are  in  fact  surrounded  by  genuine  people,  but  we  are  too  shy  to  approach.  Whatever  it  is,  if  we  feel  we  are  in  the  wrong  place:  move!  If  we  haven’t  approached  some  nice  people:  approach!  Easier  said  than  done,  I  know.  But  the  decisions  we  make  now,  however  difficult  they  may  be,  create  a  ripple  effect  for  the future.

Have you ever had to walk away from a friend because of the negative influence? Was it easy or hard? What about the good friends, have your seen those good friendships grow because you walked away from the fake ones? We’d love to hear your stories and tips! 

 


 

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Sarah Tinning – Column: Living With a Positive Mindset 

Sarah is a 18-year-old, living in Australia. She loves God, her family, singing, writing songs and novels, and playing guitar. She enjoys meeting up with friends, and just putting a smile on people’s faces; even better, making them laugh! She blogs about books, movies, music, and life at www.foreveraspiringwriter.wordpress.com

 

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