Wednesday, January 8, 2014

True Friendship

True friendship involves a shared sense of caring and concern, a desire to see one another grow and develop, and a hope for each other to succeed in all aspects of life.

Real Friendship involves action: doing something for someone else while expecting nothing in return; sharing thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or negative criticism.

Sincere friendship involves relationship.
Friendship takes time: time to get to know each other, time to build shared memories, time to invest in each others growth.

We've all suffered a loss of friendship(s) in our lives. My thoughts, they were never a 'true friend.' That is a hurtful feeling and experience to feel that you had a close friend and when life gets difficult, they leave.

However, we need to look at this as a process of purging. Accept the fact that they were never your true friend which is difficult but necessary. There is a lot to be learned through the difficult times.

New friends will come. Stay open to others who want to be a friend. Not only when times are good but through difficult times in life.

Reach out and be a sincere friend. One that cannot be swayed by life's storms. Go through the good and bad times. Treat others as you would want them to treat you.

Trust is essential to friendship. We all need someone with whom we can share our lives, thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. We need to be able to share our deepest secrets with someone, without worrying that those secrets will end up on the Internet the next day! Failing to be trustworthy with those intimate secrets can destroy a friendship in a hurry.

Faithfulness and loyalty are key to friendship. Without them, we often feel betrayed, left out, and lonely. In true friendship, there is no backbiting, no negative thoughts, no turning away.

Sincere friendship requires certain accountability factors. Real friends encourage one another and forgive one another where there has been an offense.

Genuine friendship supports during times of struggle. Friends are dependable. With genuine friendship, unconditional love develops. We love our friends no matter what and we always want the best for our friends.

Reserve judgment until you have all of the facts. Every situation has two sides. Get all of the facts and information before making a decision. An individual will only give their side and if others are involved, another side is to be heard and weighed before a decision can be made.

First Samuel 20 focuses on the friendship of David and Jonathan. These two men truly cared for each other and had great trust and confidence in one another. David was running for his life from Jonathan's father, Saul. Jonathan recognized that David was innocent. Because of the genuine friendship they shared, David survived Saul's assassination attempts and went on to become one of Israel's greatest kings.

Treasure 'true friendships.' They are like precious jewels.

Sincere and true friendship involves freedom of choice, accountability, truth, and forgiveness. Real friendship looks at the heart, not just the "packaging." Genuine friendship loves for love's sake, not just for what it can get in return. Friendship is both challenging and exciting. It risks, it overlooks faults, and it loves unconditionally, but it also involves being truthful, even though it may hurt.

Genuine friendship, also called "agape" love, which comes from the Lord.

Relationships in real life involve different levels of friendships.

But humans are designed by God for lasting relationships. Often our isolationist society offers only vague, empty relationships. God wants us to have friends here on earth.

Most of all, He wants us to be friends with Him!

God's Word tells us that a friend sticks closer than a brother, and that in order for one to be a friend, one must show themselves friendly (Proverbs 18:24).

The question is: what type of friend do you desire to be?

Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars. When we've offended a true friend - whether by breaking a trust or by speaking the truth with love - we risk losing that friendship. We must be careful not to break the trust.

But when not speaking the truth will cause greater hurt in our friend's life, we must be willing to sacrifice our needs for those of our friend. That is true friendship.

If we sometimes offend a friend without meaning to, God's Word offers a solution. It's called forgiveness.

There is no greater example than the love of God for us. It is so great that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in order that our friendship with God might be restored. He did that in spite of the fact that we have offended Him deeply. We have disobeyed His commands, turned our backs on Him, and followed our own path.

So the question remains: What type of friend do you want to be?

True Christian friendship forgives.


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