On Friendship

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. As women, that’s what we do. From the time we are little girls, we look for friends. We seek other girls to attach ourselves to, to play with, to journey life with. As we grow older and come to faith in Jesus, we find women to connect with, to enter into community with, to bring joy to our lives and to link arm with as we journey to Jesus. We look to our girlfriends for wisdom, counsel, comfort and encouragement. But, do we also look to them for correction?

As Christians, I believe we should possess a certain humility, one that stems from understanding that from the beginning, we have never ceased to get it all wrong and only Jesus got it all right. Who can be prideful about that?! And that humility should spill into all of our relationships as we recognize that we don’t have it all together, we are quite frankly a huge mess and we need God’s grace more today than even yesterday. And if we truly grasp all of this, we should readily find ourselves willing and even wanting our closest friends, those who know us best, to honestly evaluate our lives. Afterall, Truth has already told us that the heart is deceitful above all else. And we need people who can see us for who we really are and still love us enough to point out the weaknesses, the failures, the sins that we are often prone to justify, sweep under the rug or just plain overlook.

Best-Friends-Two-Little-Girl-Coloring-PagesIn my last 23 years of walking with Jesus, I’ve had all sorts of girlfriends. I’ve had those who almost led me astray, those who were willing to stand with me and go against the grain and those who came into my life briefly but then realized that I’m pretty serious about Jesus so they bailed. I’ve also had those who thought I was Jesus…this never works. I’m a wretch of a sinner and if you start looking to me to fulfill your needs, trust me…it’s going to all come tumbling down. Then I’ve had the girlfriends who truly know me…the kind that I can let my whole guard down and just be the truest version of myself. One of these is my sister…sometimes she knows me better than I know myself! These are the friends that are worth more than gold, the friends I pray I’m sitting right beside at the marriage feast of the Lamb. And these are the women that I regularly want to evaluate my life.

This past week I had the blessing of spending a couple of days with one such friend. On the evening before her departure the next morning, I asked her to be thinking about what she had seen the last few days and what she thought I could be doing better or paying more attention to or seeking grace for. The next morning we went for a run and she told me her exact thoughts…water to my soul! You see, I know I’ve got rose-colored glasses on when I look at my life. Sure, I can be hard on myself and maybe set unrealistic expectations but still, I’m pretty easy on myself at the same time. Really, I can justify my sin and laziness with the best of them 🙂 To have a friend who could honestly assess my life, give me areas to work on and encourage me in my faith…what a gift!

So, let me ask you…do you have women in your life that you look to for correction? If a friend sincerely approaches about sin in your life, do you immediately play the defensive or do you trust the Holy Spirit? Do you have people in your life who know the real you? Girls, this is important! If we long to be women who are being sanctified by the truth, becoming holy as He is holy, then we cannot neglect the responsibility of surrounding ourselves with friends whom God will use to carry out this great work!

 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17