the beauty of true friendship.

a true friend is one that you can have the time of your life with. a true friend is one that will let you cry on their shoulder. a true friend is one that will ask the hard questions. a true friend is one that holds you accountable. a true friend is one that is vulnerable with you. a true friend is one that is transparent with you. a true friend is one that sharpens you. a true friend is one that encourages you. AND a true friend is one that loves and refreshes your soul.

the majority of our generation has the wrong perception of what a friend is – I know I certainly did at one point.

a friend isn’t someone who delights in belittling or discouraging you. a true friend is not a person who leaves you hanging when the going gets tough, or when you make terrible, and I mean terrible decision. they may not be the biggest fan or even support your ideas or decisions, but that does not mean they stop loving you and walk away. a friend loves at all times, despite your circumstances (proverbs 17:17). I may not always approve of what my friends choose and decide to do, but I will always love them and be around, no matter what.

as Christians we are called to love. loving someone is a choice. we wake up daily, deciding whether we will love that particular person or not. 1 corinthians 13 illustrates exactly what love is.

love is kind. love is patient. love keeps no record of wrongs. love is not self-seeking or self-pleasing. love is not rude. love delights in the truth. love hopes and perseveres.

now, insert your name each place where the love is. how do you fit in each phrase? I am far from being a friend of love, but I yearn and strive to be that friend. my prayer is you do too.

we must get over this “circumstantial” friendship that we have created. friendship is more than the circumstance going on, or whether it is convenient for you or them or not. genuine friendship is a real and rare thing. it supports in times of struggle and failure, but it also forgives in times of hurt and shame. friendship is about building one another up, pointing one another to the cross, and ultimately, spurring one another to grow deeper in their walk with the Lord.

if you look throughout the bible, what kind of friend is Jesus? He was a friend of great love (galatians 2:20). He was a friend that encouraged, and bore the burdens of one another. woah, I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of friend I want to be.

the quote below has made me think more and more, and  the meaning of what friendship truly is has become clearer and clearer to me. I’m not sure about you, but when I have sin in my life, confessing it to my friends is not on the top of my priority list. but after confessing it to the Lord, we should be open and vulnerable with our friends – we will get to that in a second.

“you cannot become who you are meant to be living in isolation because one man sharpens another”

friends, we must stop being the friends that do not ask one another those hard questions. yes, it can be uncomfortable (especially if you are the one that has to answer them), but it’s necessary when holding each other accountable, and sharpening one another. when asking the difficult questions, do it out of love and without condemnation – you want to do it for your friend’s growth and spiritual wellbeing, not to shame them. when answering the gut-wrenching questions, be honest, open, and vulnerable. your friends are asking because they care and love you. and I pray, they are asking you because they want you to live without chains, bondage, and live in freedom growing closer to Jesus.

y’all, friendship is not always easy. matter of fact, some days it’s so extremely hard. but, on the easy and the hard days, it is more than worth it.

if you know me, you know that I love people. so much. friendship is a very cherished part of my life. but what I love more than the sweet friends I have is the fact we are able and called to encourage and sharpen one another. proverbs says, “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (proverbs 27:17). I know I fall short in this category so often, but think of the world we would be living in if were truly putting this into practice. it would alter the way we love and interact with people in such a vast way.

I want to encourage you to sharpen your friends, to stick closer than a brother, and to stand through the good, the bad, and the ugly. it’s hard, I’ll be the first to admit it. it takes work, discipline, and selflessness. it takes time out of your schedule to lend your ear or shoulder to cry on. be that friend and find those friends. pouring out and investing in true friendship is a calling for each of us, and I urge you to be that friend; however, if you are not investing in friendships that pour into you just as much, you will be drained and exhausted. find the rarest and truest friends because man, is it worth it.

do you desire to be that type of friend? a friend who challenges, loves, supports, sharpens and sticks closer than a brother?

a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. – proverbs 17:17
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. the life I now live in the body, i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – galatians 2:20
as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – proverbs 27:17
… but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – proverbs 18:24

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