Joshua and Anna offer listeners practical tips and advice on strengthening their relationships with their friends. They cover topics such as active listening, communication skills, the art of giving and receiving feedback, and the importance of empathy and understanding. Through real-life examples, listeners can learn about common challenges in friendships and how to overcome them.
What Kind of Friend Do I Want to Be?
I first realized that I was a poor friend in the sixth grade. This early experience highlights the difficulties and pain that come with forming friendships during the awkward years of middle school. However, it’s important to remember that we are all learning and growing, and no one is perfect. We all deserve grace and mercy in our friendships.
When I was 12 years old, I had a tendency to say whatever came to mind, which could sometimes be hurtful. I once made my best friend cry after telling her that I didn’t like her outfit. This moment made me realize that I needed to be a better friend. I had recently given my heart to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was living inside of me, giving me the heart to receive guidance. I remember the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit gently reminding me, “You won’t have many good friends if you keep acting this way.” I apologized to my friend and asked God for help with my words.
God values friendship because He knows the power of two or three gathered in His name. He wants to help us be better friends, who love, forgive, encourage, laugh, cry, pray, and build His kingdom together. The Holy Spirit began to show me what it looked like to be a godly friend, and I wanted to produce good fruit in my friendships. I am still growing in this journey, but I am confident that the Lord, who has started a good work in me, will continue to perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the greatest example of love. When we look at how He loved people, we see someone who:
- Loved others as God loved Him, giving what He received from God to others.
- Lived with encouragement and cared for others without jealousy or conceit.
- Believed the best in people and valued trust and forgiveness.
John 15:9-12 NLT
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
As Christians, our journey together should always point others to Jesus. The glory belongs to the Lord. If you’re in need of a friend or want to be a better friend, look to Jesus. By choosing to remain in God’s love through Christ Jesus, and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us, we will never go wrong in our friendships. God will bring friends into our lives who love God, love us, and bring Him glory. He will also help us become the friend He has called us to be.
Scripture on Friendship
Philippians 2:1-5 NLT
Have the Attitude of Christ
2 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Proverbs 13:20 NLT
20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Proverbs 16:28 NLT
28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 17:17 NLT
17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.