“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about the friendships in my life. I’ve strengthened some and let some go. The circle I keep has gotten smaller and fewer as I’ve gotten older. I make acquaintances easily, but maintaining and strengthening existing friendships in this season of life is a little difficult for me. I have friends I can go see a movie with but having people in my life who will walk side by side with me through the messiness of life is a little more challenging.
There are people I talk to and who speak life into me but over the past year I’ve built walls around my heart and I’m very guarded in specific areas. I’m not as vulnerable as I used to be. I think when you’ve been hurt a lot you train yourself not to get too close to other people in fear of being hurt or worse rejected. Genuine friendships matter to me, especially in this area but they’re rare.
Genuine friends spend time with you.
Genuine friends are there to catch us when we fall.
Genuine friends are the ones there for us when the whole world walks out.
Genuine friends accept and love us as we are.
Genuine friends pray for you and with you.
Genuine friends are transparent with you.
Genuine friends are the ones who stick closer than a brother.
Genuine friends inspire, encourage, and challenge you to be the best version of yourself.
I’m sure there are other characteristics of genuine friendships, but these stick out most to me. As I think through my friendships, I know what kind of friendships I want and the kind of friend I need to be. Our friendships and relationships with others matter, especially as followers of Jesus. They should draw us closer to Christ and His image not away from it.
This week take an inventory of your relationships and pray over them.
Are you a genuine friend?