As you know from my post, When Friends Leave, I have experienced deep hurt as a result of allowing myself to love deeply in friendship.
Now, the treasure and refreshment of friendship lifts my heart. The past few of weeks have been saturated with friendship blessings, one right after another. From coffee meetings to phone calls to texts to lunch dates to weekends away.
Friendship takes commitment. It requires being intentional. Fair-weather friends are easy to find, but how often do we experience the real deal, a true friend? It got me thinking, what are the characteristics of a true friend?
-One who knows you, the good and the bad, and loves you anyway!
-She shows up, when it seems everyone else has left!
-She holds, encourages, and prays for you through difficulty.
-She celebrates your successes, and is there to pick you up when you fail.
-She cries with you, even if the only reason for the tears are hormonal. She doesn’t care, she cries anyway!
-She tells you the truth gently, even if it hurts, because she knows it’s what’s best for you.
-She loves you like her own sister, or the sister she never had.
-She would give you the shirt off her back.
-She’s one you can laugh with till you cry–or wet your pants–whichever comes first!
-One who spurs you on in your faith and closeness to God.
-One you can trust with your car keys, your children, and pretty much your life!
Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
As I was reading my list, it occurred to me, this is what Jesus is to me! He’s my dearest friend. I depend on Him for all these things. Honestly, no matter how good our girlfriends are or how blessed we are by them, they will let us down. We will let them down! Humans aren’t perfect, but Jesus is! He’s the most fulfilling and dependable friend ever!
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. – John 15:13-14
I also thought, how sweet of Him to place people in our lives to be His hands and feet, His voice, His smile, and His words to encourage. Just by being with them you feel like you’ve been nearer God!
Do you have someone in your life you would consider the real deal? If so, you are blessed. And if you have more than one, you are abundantly blessed!
To have real friends, we start by being the friend we would like others to be. To have a successful friendship, sometimes, we have to be willing to risk the occasional hurt that comes with loving deeply. It’s risky, but it’s worth it! Be an intentional friend. Be the real deal. Love relentlessly! Friends are sweet, irreplaceable gifts from above!
Go send your friend a message and tell her you love her!
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17