Finding friends may seem quite difficult. Having too many friends and trying to stay in touch might be a challenge. Or keeping friends might be your struggle. Whatever it is, we all have an opinion on friendship. I believe to be a friend, it’s important to endeavour to be proactive about a process that might work for you, because it does take significant effort. And time. And prayer. And forgiveness. And grace. And unconditional love. Maybe all at once, so it will require much of us as we grow in these attributes as a Christian.
For me, this study on friendship, probably began a couple of months ago when one of my good friends had a disappointing diagnosis. A group of us, who have been friends for many years, have all been a bit stunned so we have supported each other and of course, as best we can, her too. 50 years is a long time to be a friend isn’t it? Do you have long time friends? I hope so, they are special. They know who you are and who you are not and love you anyway.
I have a wonderful friend on the other side of the country and although it’s very difficult to keep in touch, somehow we manage by sheer determination to book something in twice a year. It may not seem much of a friendship looking at it like that but hey, if that’s all it is, then that’s enough.
What about making new friends? Hubby and I moved house several times in the past six years, whilst building our new dream home and we changed suburbs. Each time, I set up an afternoon tea and popped cards in the neighbours’ letterboxes in our new street, to pop in on a particular day, where I had set up an afternoon tea. I’ve made some wonderful friends doing this.
One of those friends it took 2 to 3 months to organise a cup of tea and a chat. But there is a great potential there, I believe, for someone living very close by.
Another friend was made in my local gym/pool, a woman who was very kind to me when I felt lonely, missing all my previous pool buddies from our former suburb. I started to pick her up to drive her and we would chat for just a few minutes each time, pray for one another and support each other by text. How awesome is God, that He placed a wonderful Christian friend nearby so we could be there for each other. Her hubby is Richard Roper of roperenterprises.com.au and he does my tech and social media marketing.
How to start a friendship? Listen, ask open ended questions, care, remember their names, (you can do it if you match their name with someone else of the same name, linking short term memory with long term memory). Do what comes naturally to you, rather than a list of prescribed ‘must-dos’. Being a friend and you will have friends.
So I guess the bottom line is, if you and I can work at friendship, friends will be with you so that you and I are not walking tough journeys alone. What a blessing friends are!
Next time I’ll talk about some science on friendship, so stay tuned.
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