“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV
I had an amazing time visiting my sweet friends in Washington state this past weekend and being with them made me think a lot about friendship, what is means to be a good friend, and different types of friendship.
Not all friendships are the same. Some friends will be life long kindred-spirit types of friends. The friends that you may not see for years and years or talk to very often, but when you are together with them again, it is as if you never left them and you just pick up where you left off.
These are the friends that know you deeply and love you anyway! You laugh with them about certain things that only they understand. You have inside jokes with them, you have wept with them through the hardest trials, and cried tears of joy with them through the most momentous moments of your life. They have been with you while you birthed your babies, brought you soup when you were sick, watched your children numerous times, and prayed with and for you over the years. These are the friends that you can call at 4 a.m. when tradgedy strikes, or send a certain song to, to make them smile and laugh.
These types of friendships are rare and they take time to develop. You have to go through things together, get smacked in the face by trials and life together. These friendships are not instant, but take years and years to mature and solidify. I am so blessed and thankful for these friendships in my life. They are so sweet and precious to me and uplift my soul!
There are also one-sided friendships. These are the friendships where one person puts in most of the effort to keep the friendship going. These are the friends that you enjoy being with, have fun with, laugh with, and maybe even cry with, but if you or the other person don’t make the effort to reach out, you may rarely spend time with this friend. These types of friendships can get annoying if you are the one who is always calling, texting, and inviting. I have friendships like this and I get tired of reaching out, tired of this friend not being available, tired of them not reaching out to me. My friend Regina once told me that I am a “pursuer of friendship.” She said that I “reach out to others and keep reaching out, initiating get-togethers and fellowship.” I have never forgotten those words. She also encouraged me to never stop being a pursuer of friendship. That this was a wonderful quality to have.
I agree with Regina, pursuing friendship is a wonderful quality, but there have been times when I have grown weary of the pursuit. When you keep pouring out, reaching out, trying to meet up for coffee or a play date with her and her children, and she is never available, or has a schedule so full of activities that you wonder if she ever has time to have close friendships, you want to give up. You want to say, “Forget it! It’s not worth it to keep on trying.” But here’s the thing that the Lord often reminds me, when I am in this rotten attitude place, this place of giving up: God never gives up on me. He never stops pursuing me, reaching out to me, loving me, seeking to spend time with me. Why should I be any different?
I’m not saying that if someone has told you to leave them alone and that they no longer want to be friends, that you should continue to contact them leading them to block your phone number and call the police for harassment. What I am saying is, don’t give up. Especially if the Lord tells you to reach out to that person; don’t give up. Keep trying, because in doing so, you are showing the love of Christ to them. You are showing them God’s heart. Our God is a pursuing God, a faithful God, a God who never quits. We need to be the same way.
The final type of friendship that I have experienced are seasonal friendships. Sometimes friendships don’t last, but are for a certain season of life. You may be friends with someone for a few years and then move to another state and never hear from or see this friend again. It’s not that you parted on bad terms, it’s just that you lost touch with one another and went on with your life in your new location. This may sound depressing, but it’s not, it’s just life. God puts us in different people’s lives for a reason and sometimes those friendships last all of our lives, sometimes they don’t. But, during those friendships He is still using us to sharpen one another and help each other. Using us to bless one another and draw us closer to Himself, regardless of how long the friendship lasts.
I wanted to write this blog post to encourage you to reach out, to make friends, and to pursue friendship. I’m not going to tell you that you won’t get hurt at times, or that you won’t grow weary trying to reach out and make friends, but I will tell you that you will honor God in it and that it will be worth all of the effort.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 NKJV
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NKJV