As the new year rolls around I start to think about things I want to change in myself and I seek God for things He wants to change in me. One of the changes laying on my heart is how to be a good friend. So I have asked myself the question “Am I a good friend?” We live in a world of social networking which is only going to grow. However I question has the social networking helped grow our relationships or have they hindered them? I do believe for me they have allowed me to connect with friends I would not have been able to keep in touch with over the years. It is a joy to see their lives and their families through the photos they post. However I think on the flip side we have gotten so used to texts, tweets, and status updates that we just read them and never respond! This led me to examine my life. One of the prayers I pray often is “Holy Spirit show me to me! Help me see where I need to change and grow.” (Warning praying this prayer may surprise you!) This led me to realize that I prided myself on answering every text but I forgot about the social networking comments I never respond to! Was I appearing rude to the other person when they sent me a comment on my status and I never took the time to respond?
Do you recall the story of David and his friend Jonathan? I love how 1 Samuel 23:16 tells us Jonathan strengthened David in God! Jonathan’s father was King Saul who was aggressively trying to KILL Jonathan’s friend – David. Yet, Jonathan stepped in and encouraged his friend and helped him to be delivered from his enraged father. Jonathan did not take his friendship he had established with David lightly; he was taking a huge risk by helping his father’s archenemy. However, Jonathan went to his friend David to strengthen him in God because the two friends shared a fervent love for their Heavenly Father. Jonathan encouraged David to continue to walk with the Lord and to trust that he would one day be King. Jonathan was the king’s son, so he should have been next in line to be king; however Jonathan was content to take second place beside David because he knew it was God’s will.
All throughout the Bible we see account after account of friendships being told; friendships are a part of God’s plan for our lives. It is our duty to make sure we seek to be a friend to others. Jesus was always reaching out to others. He wants us to be loyal, respectful, sensitive, an encourager, nurturing, and even pray for our friends. We all long to love and be loved, that is how our Heavenly Father created us.
I posted these years ago but as I was reminding myself I want to share with you the Ten Commandments of Friendship:
1. Speak to People. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word or greeting. AND reply to texts, tweets, and status comments. It is as if this person is standing in front of us speaking and we ignore what they say when we don’t respond.
2. Smile at People. It takes 72 muscles to frown, but only 14 to smile!
3. Call People by Name. The sweetest music to anyone’s ear is the sound of his or her own name. Look at the name tag of the person waiting on you and thank them by name!
4. Be Friendly and Helpful. Jesus told us to love one another, being friendly is a way to start new friendships!
5. Be Cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do were a real pleasure.
6. Be Genuinely Interested in People. You can like everyone if you try.
7. Be Generous with Praise, Cautious with Criticism. Praise will win out when it comes to gaining friends.
8. Be Considerate of the Feelings of Others. It will be appreciated.
9. Be Thoughtful of the Opinions of Others. People love their opinions as they do their own children, calling them ugly won’t get you anything but anger.
10. Be Alert to Give Service. What counts most in life is what we do for others!
~ Author Unknown
“A real friend is one who helps us to think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, and be our finest selves.” ~ Albert M. Wells Jr.