The power of friends
What do your friends say about you?
“Show me your company and I’ll tell you who you are.” This was a proverb I heard many times growing up as a child. It means that by looking at your friends, people can know who you are. At first I didn’t understand why the adults in my family made such a big deal about who I chose as friends. Sometimes I actually thought it was their way of trying to control me and keep me to themselves. I thought that they were jealous of me wanting to be with my friends more than them. Have you ever felt that way?
Show me your friends
Whether we like it or not choosing friends is an important decision. Sometimes we have those moments where we definitely know we don’t want to hang around someone. But what about those other times when we accept friend requests from people because we want to seem friendly, or we don’t want to embarrass them? If you are choosing your friends because you want to be cool, then what will your friendship be based on?
Choosing to spend a lot of time around a person is a choice that should be thought out carefully.
There are acquaintances and there are friends. An acquaintance is someone who is a part of your group and shares the same circle of known individuals as you. A friend is a person you choose to give time and attention to and whom you usually exchange personal information with. They range from distant to very close. But friends are not all the same.
Different sides of you
Some say that friends show different sides of our personality and I agree. If we look at our friends, they usually have a quality that we once had, currently have or wish we had. So when our likes and interests change, so too can our friends. So the question is which side of your personality is shown in your friends? I have friends that talk a lot, which goes well with my listening skills. I also have friends who listen a lot, which also goes well with my chatterbox skills. Remember, we choose friends not just on who they are, but mostly on who we are or want to be.
Followers of the gospel will not do things perfectly and will sometimes make mistakes and treat friends badly. That goes without saying. In all your friendships, strive to be honest and show good character. Keep your promises and seek to have positive relationships with your friends. If a friend tells you a secret, keep it a secret, although there are exceptions. If that secret involves your friend hurting him or herself, or others or being hurt by others, then you should consider sharing it with someone you trust. Talk to your parents, youth pastor or a counsellor if you feel uncomfortable with a friend’s secret.
If you feel like a friendship could lead you into unsafe behaviors, you might need to discontinue the relationship. Don’t feel pressured to stay around people that bring out your weaknesses. Doing this is not a sign of bravery.
Called to love
We are called to love friends. That’s what Jesus did. It could be giving them a hug when they are down. Sending them a tweet, text or message to see how they are doing. Building and keeping their trust is everything. Also, you don’t always need to evangelise to them. You need to choose people as friends because you want to share in their life. Don’t befriend someone just to convert them to Christianity.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t evangelise to your friends, but I’m saying that they should be your friend first and not just a soul that needs saving. Create relationships with people for who they are.
So now look at your friends. What are they telling others about you? Most importantly what are they telling you about yourself?
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