I knew how to have fun and make people laugh. I knew how to blend in no matter where I was. I knew it was important to listen when others needed an ear and give good/wise advice whenever folks needed it. But I never understood that friendship goes so much deeper than that.
True friends know all of your favorite things or at least they strive to know them. They pay attention to your worries and concerns. They know your past and are sensitive about areas that are hard for you to face and handle. True friends know your struggles and work hard to keep temptation out of your life. They understand the power of presence and silence doesn’t bother them.
True friends are intentional and available. They truly listen and pay attention when you speak and even know your body language when you are silent. They learn your facial expressions and take time to know your heart.
But most of all, true friends speak truth, they don’t jump on your bandwagon. When they have an issue, they come to you. When you have an issue they listen, speak truth, and point you to Jesus. They are life-breathers, hope-speakers, constant encouragers, regular huggers, and holy helpers. They serve you because they love you and they love you just like you are with no strings attached.
They regularly spend time with Jesus and encourage you to do the same. They do no shy away from confrontation, neither do not revel in it. They practice what they preach and automatically make you feel at home.
If you have never experienced this kind of friendship, ask God to send you a friend. If you have never taken the chance to be this kind of friend to someone else, ask God to help. If you have been steeped in secrets and sin, one of the hardest things is to reach out and learn how to make friends. We have survived in solitude and letting people in can be a hard step to take. Once I had someone show me how to be a friend, I desperately wanted to pay it forward and learn to be that kind of friend to others. We can only let our guards down by asking Jesus for help. We can only experience true relationship with others as a result of our growing relationship with him.
Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”