IDENTIFY & KEEP TRUE FRIENDS

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend
— Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

Hello beautiful! Happy new year!

It's been a while because I was really contemplating which direction to take the blog this year. I am on a journey of renewal in my perspective on God and what it means to be a disciple of Christ. In 2016 I really took some time to focus on Jesus himself. Who he was, what he was about and what his expectations were of me. I am still on this journey and will begin sharing some really profound things at the end of this month. 

January is usually a month of "cleansing" for me. This time of the year is dedicated to removing distractions and focusing on God through fasting and prayer. I truly believe that when we remove certain distractions in our lives and clear out the so called junk we will have a much clearer understanding of where we need to go in life. This understanding comes from the ability to hear God's voice because of the absence of the extra "noise". At the end of this quiet time I expect to be in a different place where I will be able to share the lessons I've learnt. 

Now on to today's thought. In 2016 a lot of my friendships changed due to various reasons. Gladly none of them made a turn for the worse but their was some major changes. So today I wanted to chat a little bit about meaningful relationships. 

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  1. In a previous post I spoke about being in the midst of a group of women where a powerful feeling of unity came about. In that meeting and a more recent group discussion I came to realize a few things. First, it is extremely important to have someone in our lives that we can completely trust. Whether they break that trust at any point in time is another story but our goal should be to seek and build trustworthy relationships with other women. Why? Without getting too complicated, women need other women for support, guidance and fellowship. It is not healthy to be alone.

Side note: The myth stating once you get married you're supposed to break off all your friendships because your husband is now your best and only friend is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, he is your number one priority when it comes to relationships but you can and should have other supportive, trustworthy friends in your life. I just felt I had to throw that in there. 

In the most general way, women understand women. No matter how long you've been married to a man, there is nothing like having a group of trusted women in your life who understand your perspective. I personally have a few women in my life that I trust. Although I compartmentalize the relationships according to the different areas of my life, all of the women in my circle are very valuable to me. 

Some of you may say that it is difficult these days to find a good friend because women can't get along, but let me tell you that despite what others may say based off of a very limited experience, most women are not catty. Let me say that again, most women are NOT catty. We are all human with character flaws and therefore we will not always get along with everyone that we come in contact with and that is OK.  However, there are women out there that would be a benefit to our lives and we should really try to make meaningful connections with them. Our aim should always be to have a life filled with people that help us grow to maturity in all areas. 

If your friends do not inspire, motivate, support and love you then they are not your friends. They may not be your enemies either, but they are good candidates for the acquaintance category.

Over the years I've found that maintaining a large group of friends is impossible. If we look at the true meaning of friendship, it takes a lot to be a friend. 

  1. A friend sacrifices time and effort to nurture your well-being.
  2. A friend sacrifices resources to help you when you are in need. 
  3. A friend sacrifices their own wants to ensure you have what you need. 
  4. A friends sacrifices their own pride in order to forgive and mend the friendship. 

That sounds like a lot I know but that is what true friendship is about. A lot of us confuse companionship with friendship and that is why our friendships with others don't last. As soon as our so called friend does something that upsets us we walk away from them and cut off all communication. If this happens, you were never friends to begin with. It's radical thinking I know, but let's look at the characteristic of a friend according to the word.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
— John 15:13 (KJV)

Would you lay down your life for anyone that you call a friend? Tough one to answer, but think about it for a while and consider your circle while you do that. If your answer is no, it doesn't mean you are going to cut everyone off. It just means that maybe it's time to invest in and nurture your current relationships so that they can really begin to look and feel like true friendships. Spend some real time together. Take a few classes of similar interest together. Go into ministry together and definitely pray together. Support each others accomplishments in a meaningful way and be there for each other when things are not so great. 

When it's all said and done, women are healthier and happier when we have meaningful relationships. So let's take some time this year to not only build our family relationships but spend less time on frivolous interactions and more time on building our character and being a true friend to others so that we can build and improve our sister's circle. 

 

Until next time, 
Live in gratitude. Live in love.