Happy International Friendship Day!

Today is a day where we get to celebrate the people in our lives who make each and every day more colorful and full of life. Whether they’ve known you since birth or you just met them yesterday, friends are an important part of life.

Humans were made with a longing for friendships and community.

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

We were designed with the purpose in mind to build one another up. We were meant to encourage one another in our talents and help each other in times of need.

Because friends influence us and shape us, it’s so vital that we choose friends who are going to encourage us and uplift us. We need to be sure that the friends we let close to our hearts are the ones God has for us; the ones who refresh our soul.

Friendship is a gift from God. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to love people and have them love you back as God loves you: unconditionally. A true friend loves you at your best and at your worst.

We were built for the community from the very beginning. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,”

From the very start of mankind, we were built from a community (The Holy Trinity) for a community (other humans). We weren’t meant to live life alone.

Jefferson Bethke says this “Trying to live without community is like trying to live without oxygen, it’s a very big part of what it means to be human”.

Without other people to help guide us and keep us accountable in this life, we almost always fail. God places people in your life to help you, to guide you, and to encourage you. He also places you in other people’s lives to do the same for them.

I urge you to pray with and for your friends. Pray for their relationship with God, your relationship with them, and ask them to do the same for you. I hope you have people in your life who will bring you closer to God, rather than further. Always be thankful for the great people God has placed in your life and be constantly looking forward to the new friends He will bring your way.

Now that you know the importance of a good friend, what exactly does it mean to be one?

Ephesians 4:29-32 says,

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”

Let’s break these verses down.

  1. Don’t gossip. It only leads to hurt feelings. If something is bothering you just go to the person, don’t spread rumors about them.
  2. Only talk about the good qualities behind their back, never the bad ones. Be uplifting.
  3. Don’t be bitter. Forgive and forget.
  4. Try not to fight constantly with your friends. We are supposed to be shining God’s light!
  5. Be kind and love each other!
  6. Forgive. Sometimes it’s hard to let go especially if someone hurt you. In order to live in a community with others and Christ, we must learn to fully forgive.

I hope this encourages you to be the best friend you can be and to be thankful for the people in your life.

Happy International Friendship Day!