Can I be honest with you? As a young girl I had no problems making friends. I could get around a crowd of girls and just fit right in. But as I got older and experienced hurt and betrayal from other women, I became less quick to fit in. I will admit that at times I still tend to pull away with the fear that a friend may hurt me.
What I looked for in my worldly friends was completely different from what I want and desire from a godly friendship. I believe that the gift of friendship was one of God's greatest ideas. I also believe that just how God picks our our husbands to compliment us, He does the same with our friends. It has been said about marriage that where one lacks the other makes up for it. I know Jesus made friendship to work the same way.
I spent a good part of my life searching for genuine friendships. I always would get saddened when I would hear women say, " We have been best friends for over 15 years." I thought, wow. That would be nice to have. I had close friends, but most were all worldly friends. Things happened that caused us to go our separate ways, and with others we just grew apart.
Temporal friendships don't stand a chance when they are built on a temporal foundation.
The slightest disagreement can wash away even 20 years of what you thought was an unbreakable friendship if it was not built on solid foundation. God, The Rock.
But when you are blessed enough to find a friend that loves you enough to point out your sin even when you do not recognize it, or a friend that just knows when something is off with you and instead of asking questions they take it to God. . .That is a real friend. When times are hard a real friend will not take you to the club to get drunk and "forget your problems," they will take you before the Lord and cry out on your behalf. Your burdens will become their burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Godly friendships require transparency and trust. It is not easy to be honest and vulnerable about our deepest struggles, fears, and hidden sins. It takes crazy faith to put ourselves out there like that. Especially if you have been hurt by friends in the past. But it is a wonderful feeling when God gives you a peace about someone. When He whispers to your heart, "It is okay. You can trust them."
So, what does a godly friendships look like?
- They rejoice in your accomplishments. There is no room for jealousy in a God-breathed friendship. As a matter of fact your accomplishments become their accomplishments because more than likely you were a big part of that success. Your prayers, your support, and your accountability was crucial during this season.
"But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic." (James 3:14-15)
- A true friend speaks the truth in love. . .even if it hurts. You know that you can always trust that she tells you is for your own good, even if you may not want to hear it. She is a woman of prayer and you know that she goes before God for you to seek wisdom even in your situations. She will tell you if you have acted out of character whether you want to hear it or not. And this must work both ways.
Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness. (Galatians 6:1)
- Godly friends will not gossip about you. The Bible has a lot to say about gossipers, and it is not good. So, a gossiping friend is not good either. Can you comfortably share something private with your friend and know without a doubt that your conversation will stay private? True friends are are honest and trustworthy with matters of the heart. A real friend will defend you in public and confront you in private.
Whoever goes around as a gossip tells secrets. Do not associate with a person whose mouth is always open. (Proverbs 20:19)
- True godly friends are natural givers. You will find in godly friendships that both parties give sacrificially without hesitation. A real friend makes sacrifices. I admit I have sacrificed some sleep to sit up with my crying girlfriend at four in the morning, and so have others for me. I have had friends bring us groceries when we didn't have much. Friends who take from theirs to give to ours our some of the most blessed friendships.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)