The Good Friend?

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If you have followed me on social media long enough, you would know that one thing I have, is a love for friendships.

I am a woman with many friends and I have grown to love and appreciate just how much of a blessing good friendships are.

In my book Behind The Scenes, I speak about the power of good friendships. Without my best friend in 2016, I doubt I would have been able to make it through the initial shock of the wedding getting called off ( read the book for more context 🙂 )

Doctor Kanayo puts it like this “we heal better in community” and I agree. I also add that we exist better in community. So I guess the purpose of this post is to ask this simple question

Who do you have in your community?

One of my favourite scriptures in the bible is Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity

Proverbs 17:17 ESV

The people you keep around you should be those who you would not only call to the battle field, but those who can also call upon you.

A friend is someone who loves you in every season of your life. They may not love all of the things you do and in those times, a true friend will correct you and call you to order. But they will love you through the good, bad and the ugly. In the same way, you ought to have this very same regard for the friends you keep.

Although there is no manual on friendships and not all friendships are the same, the bible gives us some pretty clear guidelines on what makes a good friend.

Examples Proverb 18:24, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 Thessalonians 5:11

We promote acquaintances to friends and in some cases ”sisters” / ”brothers” even though they have never given you a reason to trust that they can be these roles to you.

Just because you may have the same taste in fashion, have known each other since pre-school and move in the same circles, doesn’t mean that you ought to be friends. Some people are in our lives for a season and the error we make is that

We judge relationships based on our familiarity with someone and not on the substance of that relationship.

I remember a particular “friend’ I once had. She would always complain about the smallest things. If I was a good friend to another friend, she would complain that I was only being good to make her look bad. Whenever I had great news, I would be hesitant to share my success with her because I knew that shortly after comparison would strike and I would hear ”it’s always you, those things never seem to happen to me”

Looking back now, I see that this was a toxic friendship. There were so many red flags. But because I feared the tension that would arise in our friendship group if I distanced myself from this individual, I remained ”Friends” with this person until one day I just couldn’t.

I tried to dim my light to make them feel comfortable. There were times I felt so heartbroken by the state of this relationship. So much so that it negatively impacted the way I was with my other friends.

Some of us have experienced heartbreak at the hands of unfruitful and toxic friendships.

Heartbreaks from friendships are real. So why do we give our hearts to people so easily? I think it is time that we put our friendships under the same scrutiny that we do romantic relationships. Some questions you should ask yourself about your current relationships are:

Does this friend bring out the best in me? / Do I bring out the best in them?

Does this friendship contribute or sit in alignment with my God given purpose?

Is this friend reliable?

Am I happy in this friendship or does it drain me?

And a very important question is AM I FORCING IT?

Just like romantic relationships, if you notice a change in your friendship, communicate this to them. It may be that you can work this out. But if you can’t, then it’s ok to re-evaluate your friendship and in some cases, walk away. (In love of course)

Before you graduate a friend to the league of your sister or your brother, ask yourself this, when trials come, because they will come, will that friend rise to support you through it? Are they Proverbs 17:17 worthy?

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