As we chatted about friendships in GUMY in our first week of our series “Real Friends”, we began by acknowledging that friendships are not something we just receive, but also, something that requires effort, love and resources from us. It is so easy to wish for better friends, or for our friends to be different, or treat us in a certain way. However, like Ghandi mentioned, we start by first changing ourselves. As friends, we start by being the kind of person we want to have as our friend.
In week two, we studied the passage of the friends bringing their pal on a mat to Jesus for healing. In the story, Jesus sees the faith of the friends, and heals the man. What a staggering reminder of the impact our friends can have! This begged two questions for us to consider:
- Are my friends leading me to our away from Jesus?
- Am I leading my friends to or away from Jesus?
Each one of our friends leads us to a certain way of living and viewing the world. And each one of us leads our friends. The question always is, “where?”
In the third week of our series, we addressed that sometimes we are friends with people who are not healthy for us to be friends with. We may have friends who tear us down, gossip about us, use us selfishly, and don’t defend us when our name is being run through the mud. Are these really the kind of relationships we want to have, and devote our time and energy to? Sometimes we may think we aren’t deserving of a healthy friendship, or someone who truly does love and honor us. However, the truth is, God desires us to have friends who build us up and spur us onto holiness, and and He wants us to be a friend who serves, loves, and supports another.