Friendship. It’s something that is actually really important to me.
You see, my parents have called me a “social butterfly” since I was very small. I never liked being home; I always preferred being with other people. This is just part of my personality. It’s who God just made me to be.
Well as I grew up, friends remained very influential in my life. I also allowed my values and morals to be compromised by these friendships. Of course I could have stood my ground and said no to the partying and boys but it was easier to fit in than to stand out. Those friendships and decisions led to destructive behavior and habits.
Eventually I changed my ways. I decided to return to the way I was brought up. I was raised in the church and knew it was time to get right with God. But what about my friendships? Who would I hang out with now?
That was the hardest part of my transition. My friends still wanted to party. My friends still smoked and drank. I wasn’t doing those things but I craved those companionships. I just missed the social aspect of those habits. I began to pray that God would give me new, positive friends. And He slowly answered my prayers.
Over the last three years since I’ve kicked my habits and surrendered my life to God, I’ve gained some really great friends that have a positive influence on my life. I’ve been given encouragers, prayer warriors, mentors, and just all-around good friends. God gave me what my heart desired. When He knit me, He knew I needed friends and He never forgot that. He has blessed me with people who would do anything to help me. I don’t think I could continue this difficult Christian walk without them.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” Friends are meant to uplift one another. We are meant to push each other in the best possible way. Solomon saw that people need people to lean on and encourage in this life. Yes, Jesus should be our nearest friend but here on earth we need people to talk to. We need people to tell us that it’s going to be okay. We need people to push us to be the best Christian we can be. Friendship, and positive friendships, are a gift from God.
So, are you being the best friend you can be to someone? Are you encouraging your friend to be the best Christian they can be? Are you sharpening your friend as Solomon suggests in Proverbs?