[This post is a part of the Guarding the Heart power series. If you missed the earlier posts, you can view it here.]
During my childhood, one of the constant cautions that came from my mother was about friends. She would do everything to make sure that I had the right friends. In fact, certain times I would not take the fact very well that I could not hang out with certain friends. It took me years to figure out that she was right and that friendships could mould who you are.
God takes friendship very seriously that he refers to only two people as his friend in the Old Testament. Today, the Facebook world has made it so hard to differentiate your real friends; whether they are just acquaintances or someone you associate with.
It is important that you have God’s standards for your friendships. If you study the friendships in the Bible, you will see a covenant between them, unconditional love and mutual trust between friends.
I am yet to find a perfect friend on this planet. In fact, nobody is perfect. This leads us to God who is the only perfect being. Jesus is and forever can be our best and perfect friend. We must put our complete trust in Him alone. This helps us to guard our hearts, lest the enemy takes advantage of the situation to break you.
Not all friendships lead you closer to God. But I hope you are the friend in the friendship that leads your friend to God. However if your friend is someone who constantly tempts you away from God, then it means that you are not holding the rein and the friendship might cost you your walk with God. Sadly, you may have to walk away from that friendship!
Is there someone you may have to withdraw from? Your friendship is not more important than God in your life.
You do not have to be their savior, saving them is God’s job. If it does not cost your walk with God then you can maintain enough closeness for them to see God through your life.
The best part of friendships are that you get to choose friends. Are all your friends around you are people who please you and pamper you? You should then certainly make efforts to also be around people who challenge you to do more in life. Surround yourself with friends who study better than you, work harder than you, think smarter than you and of course pray more than you.
They might be a little intimidating but be intentional and passionate to learn. They will motivate you to go to places you might otherwise not easily be able to go.
Good friends are like supplements that keeps you healthy. This level of friendships is rare but required. Friends that will hold you accountable in your walk with God. Friends who will not be ashamed to ask you about your struggles and yet love and motivate you to walk with God.
They might be of any age. Even though similar age group is a blessing yet friendships are not limited by age. Remember the only other person Mary could relate to was Elizabeth who was twice her age and was experiencing a similar miracle from God. Find someone who can hear you out and encourage you to walk with God. It will take someone with an intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit to understand another who is trying to walk with God.
With all that said, if you are someone who has not really experienced a real friendship, do not forget our first point, you still have the perfect friend in your life. Sometimes alone need not necessarily be bad. Be open to accept and thankful to anyone God brings into your life. Even otherwise, make use of it to walk closer with God.
Jesus never fails!
What have you experienced about friendships? Do you have friends that can hold you accountable?
[Next week Guest Post: “Find wise & truthful mentors” You can be notified here. This post is a part of the Guarding the Heart power series.]