What Real Friendship Looks Like
If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled in the area of friendships. I’ve had a hard time identifying those that I can call friend or refer to them as someone I just know.
When I was in elementary school, I was always quick to call a new acquaintance my best friend. I was so happy to meet a new person that I immediately started sharing my secrets with them.
Clearly, this was not a good idea.
The following day I would hear that my new best friend had another best friend and my little heart would be broken. It was at this time that my mother taught me an important lesson. You cannot call everyone your friend.
Friendship is a beautiful thing. God created us to crave relationship and connection to those around us. However, it’s important to be picky with who you allow into your inner circle.
So, here is how you can identify those that should be part of your tribe!
1) Ask yourself: “How do I feel around this person?”
The first thing you should consider when figuring out if you should develop a friendship with someone is how they make you feel. I am not saying that all important decisions should be based on feelings, but someone who makes you feel drained or depressed isn’t going to be a good friend.
I’ve had friends that as much as I loved them, they did not do me any good. They constantly complained or gossiped about other people and the relationship remained very superficial.
I was constantly drained by their incessant chatter that was neither uplifting or plain old Godly.
Even if you enjoy someone’s company or find them fun to hang around, please proceed with caution. I have people in my life that while I enjoy their company, they do not have access to my friendship circle.
I can have dinner with them, catch a movie, or hang out in groups together. However, they are not people that I would be quick to call part of my tribe!
2) Consider the testimony of those you befriend!
Please be careful with this one! It can be easy to fall prey to a spirit of gossip when asking information on an individual.
If you have heard that a person you are getting close to is a gossiper, catty, has jealous tendencies, or disrespectful towards those in authority in their life, run for the hills, sister!
I once was encouraged by a close friend to get to know another girl in our church. She said that this girl would be a great addition to our circle of friends. However, I hadn’t received the best recommendation about the girl from other sources.
In fact I could tell that she and I wouldn’t really click. I was a leader at my church and while I though she was kind, I wasn’t comfortable with starting a friendship with this person.
Slowly, as I kept my distance and observed the girl, I received my confirmation. This would not be a healthy person to befriend!
Remember the old saying: “Tell me who you hang around with and I will tell you who you are.”
If someone’s testimony or lifestyle would do harm to your own reputation, stay away! You can kindly and politely step away from someone who you would not like to be associated with.
It takes prayer and discernment to identify the qualities in a person that would make them a good friend. Please pray and be observant!
3) Be intentional. Be intentional. BE INTENTIONAL!!!
I used to complain about not having deep friendships ALL. THE. TIME!
I would constantly throw my hands up and complain to God for not having meaningful friendships. My frustration would grow as I would drift away from people I had considered my best friends at one point in my life.
One day, God spoke to me very clearly about this area in my life. He told me that the reason I didn’t have any close friendships was because I wasn’t pursuing them!
Just like a romantic relationship, a friendship must be intentional and pursued to bear any type of fruit.
If you haven’t texted that friend in over 3 months just to check on how their doing with school and work, how can you expect the friendship to blossom?
By taking care of the friendships in your life and showing interest in the lives of your friends, you create meaningful connection. Every so often, I will send out a text to a friend I haven’t heard from in a long time.
If you know someone close to you is going through a difficult time, extend them a helping hand or offer them a listening ear. Some of my most meaningful friendships were birthed after I decided to show up for a friend during a hard time.
Whether it’s bringing that friend ice cream after a breakup or getting all your girls together for an overdue girls night, creating deep friendships is all about keeping connected with your people! Slowly, they become part of your tribe.
4) Find something in another that you would like to have in yourself.
Okay, before you misunderstand, I am not commending stealing from or being jealous of someone for having something you don’t.
What I’m simply saying is that you should want someone in your tribe who has qualities you admire. For example, I have a friend who loves missions and has traveled to half a dozen countries sharing the message of Christ. I admire her bravery and selflessness when it comes to serving others. I love having her in my tribe because she brings out those qualities in me!
Oftentimes, we are tempted to hang out with those who seem to be at a worst place than we are because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We don’t want to be around other amazing women who will call out greatness in ourselves.
I used to get easily intimated by women I assumed had it all figured out. They were career women, leaders in ministry and very confident. I am learning that I shouldn’t avoid these women, I should try to befriend them!
We should aspire to establish community with people who will push to be the best version of ourselves!
5) Look for your biggest supporters.
Real friends fight for each other and support each other. I think it is such an important marker of a true friend when you share your dreams with your friend and they are as excited about them as you are!
A real friend will not be jealous or bitter about your successes. They will celebrate you just as they know you would celebrate them.
If you have a friend in your life who distances them self when you are going through a great season or becomes passive aggressive towards you in the midst of your milestones, may I submit to you this might not be a good friend!
Someone who truly loves you and cherishes you will celebrate with you without seeing it as a threat to them.
6) While real friends will support you, they will also be quick to speak what you need to hear, even if you don’t like it!
I have noticed in my personal life that there are people who will be quick to praise you and tell you how amazing they think you are. But, behind closed doors, the motives of their hearts are insincere.
Check out this proverb:
5 Better is open rebukeProverbs 27: 5-6
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
I love that I have people in my life that will not only tell me when I’m doing things right, but they will be quick to correct me when I’m doing things wrong.
Encouragement and support are a great asset to friendship. I am the first to admit that. But, I would rather have people around me who will point me in the right direction, whether I like it or not, rather than continue cheering me on in the wrong direction.
Ladies, this means you need to surround yourself with praying friends!
7) Friends that pray together, stay together.
I love that the amazing girls in my life are prayer warriors. From my sister and mother, to my best friends, these are all praying women.
If I ask my friends to pray for me, I know they will. Also, I know that they are the type of women that if I’m facing a battle, I can send them that 911 message and know they will keep me in their prayers.
Sister, seek out friends who would rather pray for you than seek out juicy gossip to share with others. A mature woman of prayer will be the type of friend who will get up and kick the devil’s butt rather than sit on her butt and cry with you. Let alone share your private information with the rest of the world!
When I’ve been stuck in a rut, I thank God for friends and family who won’t let me sulk and feel sorry for myself. Rather, they’ll tighten their bootstraps and go to war with me and for me.
Finding real, genuine friendships theses days can be a daunting task. But please, be encouraged in knowing that God designed us to be in relationship. If you lay the desire to have a tribe of your own at the feet of Jesus, trust me, God will come through sis!
There are amazing, like-minded women out there who would love to be part of your tribe. We would love for you to be part of ours.
As always, we are praying for you!
Our names are Carla and Paola. And yes…we are identical twins! We are pastors, ministers and young women who are absolutely in love with Christ. Our passion is to empower other young women through the message of Jesus Christ to fulfill their live’s purpose.
Although we are young (24 years old if you’re wondering) we have been preaching, teaching and serving in ministry for almost ten years. We hope that through our writing you may be encouraged and empowered to step into the calling that God has over YOUR life.
Thanks for reading!
Always praying for you,