CHOOSE CLOSE FRIENDS WHO WILL…
Challenge Me Mentally
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
My best friends/close friends are the guys in my life who will tell me the truth. They will be “brutally honest” with me when it comes to my blind spots in life – the areas of my life that I have weaknesses in and might not be aware of it. My close friends are allowed to be honest with me about my weaknesses because I know they will speak the truth to me in love. My best friends will tell me the truth because I have given them permission to do so and I know deep down that they are for me.
Have you given your best friends permission to speak the truth to you? Do you listen to them when they recommend a book for you to read, when they challenge an idea you have or when they confront a negative character trait in your life?
Best friends can challenge each other; yet, they know that the challenge is motivated by love.
Now, the second thing a close friend should be able to do is this:
Support Me Emotionally
Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
A few weeks ago my family had to live at a home for a week to go on a trip; I couldn’t go with them because I had several work-related responsibilities keeping me in town. Now, the first few days went great (I ate the food I wanted to eat, I came and went when I wanted to, I listened to the stereo very loud anytime I wanted; etc…) however, a few days into the trip the house became very lonely. I am so thankful for my close friends because they kept coming around, calling, texting, and reaching out to me to make sure I was doing okay. They knew and I knew that if left alone for any length of time I could fall into temptation. My best friends held me accountable and supported me emotionally when I was alone.
Again, this falls back on you, do you give your friends permission to support you emotionally, or; when they try to, do you shrug it off and tell them you are “Okay” you don’t “need their help”? Open yourself up to your friend’s help.
Ok, here is the third thing you want your friends to be able to do…
Strengthen Me Spiritually
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Your close friends should be concerned for your spiritual health. They should the kind of friends that keep you accountable for your time with God and they too should share openly about their spiritual highs and lows.
Check back on Monday when I’ll share about the 7 KEYS TO BUILDING HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS.
Also, for further reading, consider the book Best Friends Forever, by John Townsend. It is a great book and a fast read on the topic of developing great friendships for life.
This series; “Improving Your Relationships” was inspired by my study of the small group curriculum Transformed – How God Changes Us.
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