Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9
I have the most amazing friends in the world. My best friends are comprised of amazing women who encourage and cheer one another to accomplish amazing things. When one rejoices, we all rejoice. When one is hurting, we all hurt. If one is promoted and receives a raise at work, there isn’t jealousy; there is pure joy as we thank God for blessing our friend! We send coffee gift cards and UberEats meals when someone is going through a difficult time.
In short—we support each other, love one another fiercely, and have been with one another through the highs and lows of life. Our friendship is a form of unconditional love. I have thanked God so many times for gifting me with like-minded, caring, hilarious, brilliant, encouraging, authentic (I could go on) friendships. In short, my friends are the best of the best.
I guess I have been naïve to believe that everyone has experiences like mine. For years I was under the impression that everyone has incredible friendships that have endured the highs and lows of life. I have learned that many women, in particular, have struggled with acquiring healthy friendships with other women. So many people are faced with drama, betrayal, jealousy, and gossip in their ‘friendships.’
Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of drama in my relationships. In fact, I am still friends will people I attended Elementary School and High School with and have stayed connected with them through the years.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s when I was presented with the harsh reality of what some women endure to have a friend by your side. I had just moved to a new city and, even though I have close friendships, not one of them lived within driving distance. I am a strong believer that you should always nurture new friendships and continue to grow old ones.
It all began like a honeymoon friendship, until it wasn’t. I will not get into details, but her motives and words destroyed my confidence, for a season. Some relationships can shake your world and when that happens, turn to the one who holds the world in the palm of His hand. Our God loves you with an everlasting love and He desires for you to be closer to Him than anyone else, cling to Him when your heart is broken.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
We need to learn if we have the qualities a good friend, because through our affection for other people we emulate the love of God.
- Are you trustworthy, or do you share secrets?
- Do you rejoice when your friend buys a new car or receives a $10,000 a year raise, or do you resent them?
- If they unintentionally offend you, will you responsibly talk to them, or will you react in a passive aggressive way each time you see them?
- Do you compliment their ability, or do you keep it to yourself because of personal insecurities?
- Do you speak highly of your friends when they are not in your presence, or do you secretly slander?
It is good to take an account for our actions and behavior. Sometimes we are unaware that we are harboring bitterness or have walls built around our heart to protect us from getting close to people. Allow God to reveal anything that may be keeping you from getting close to Him, too.
We can all become better friends. How? Begin to duplicate the character of Jesus in your relationships because He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Prayer: Lord, Proverbs 8:4 states, “what is man that you are mindful of him?” Thank you for caring for me and for desiring to be my friend. When I have no one to turn to, I can turn to You. When I have no one to share my brokenness with, I can share it with You. I pray that You would help me become a trustworthy and encouraging friend. I do not want to pattern my relationships after the world, because they have a very self-absorbed agenda and ulterior motives. Let me be more and more like You, Lord, in every way.
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