We all want to have friends. Have you ever heard the phrase, to make a friend you have to be a friend? Obviously, everyone wants to be liked and have friends that are likeable and easy to be around.
Thing is, I think it is important to also be yourself. Not everyone is going to like you and want to be friends. I’ve seen people work so hard to change and be someone they normally aren’t, just to be friends with someone they think would be fun to be around.
My thought is if you have to change who you are, why do you need that kind of friend?
There is another thing that bothers me about friendship. Have you ever met someone for the first time and they just seem so friendly and interested in you? I have been through this several times. I would run into someone in the store or out for a walk, and they are smiling and so interested in getting to know a little about me. I get kind of anxious to get to know them and see if a new friendship was starting. Then, I get a call or an email and get asked if we could meet for coffee and talk a while.
After the second time this happened, I started realizing that so far, each time this has happened, it was someone with an ulterior motive.
They really were not interested in me; they were interested in what I could do for them. Basically, they were selling something and looking for new people to join in under them doing the same thing.
I tell you, this was so disappointing each time it happened. I was thinking, wow, what a nice person. I would like to get to know them and get to be friends. Then, wham, the rug was pulled out from under me by finding out they only wanted to make a sell or add me to their sales network.
True friends are hard to find. Even among people who aren’t selling and do not have ulterior motives, it’s hard to find a true friend.
Most of the friends we have are friends as long as we have the same interests, or involved in the same activities, go to the same places or work together, but outside of that, we usually don’t see each other or talk.
True friends love us and accept us as just as we are. They aren’t waiting until we change and become more like them. They are actually interested in us. They want to see us succeed. They feel comfortable telling us things that aren’t popular or what we want to hear when they know we are getting into something that isn’t good for us.
A true friend will be there for you even when we are miles apart, or when we have different interests and activities. A true friend is one of the hardest things to find in this world.
Now as followers of Christ, we have the best and most true friend possible in Jesus. But let’s be real, we need a flesh and blood person right in front of us to discuss things, do things together, encourage and support each other, and cry with one another.
Jesus will never leave us, he will never forsake us. He is closer than a brother and the best friend we will ever have in life. Yet, in this life we need human friends. And those human friends, if you think about it, are almost like having Jesus right in front of you. Since we are now the temple of the Spirit, God living in us, we in a sense are Jesus to each other. Now I’m not saying we are God, but His Spirit lives within us and we can love and accept each other through that common truth more than anything.
So for those shallow people who are only looking for someone to use and get things from, I would rather not even start a friendship. We still love everyone through Christ, but we don’t have to be friends with everyone. Pray for the guidance of the Spirit to lead you to those God has to be true friends in your life, and see Christ in the brother and sisters he brings along.