It has been said that a basic need and longing for mankind is to be known and loved. In many ways, this simple phrase is a working definition of friendship. But going from a place of disconnection—simply being new—to having relationships where you are known and loved (and where you know and love others) is not always so simple.
As a new season begins, no matter your life stage, we often ask questions about friendship. Do I have friends? Is everyone hanging out without me? Am I a good, faithful friend? How do I learn to become a better friend? How can I show love and care (when I long for someone to show love and care to me)?
This article "How to be the Friend You’ve Always Wanted” by Christine Hoover gives some practical suggestions about how to be a true friend. We hope you'll read the article in full, but here are her suggestions:
- Release others from your expectations.
- Be a friend "as unto the Lord."
- Pursue beyond what you can see.
- Mourn and celebrate.
While reading this, I was reminded that it is good for me to know how to and to work towards be a true friend. At the same time, I need to remember that Jesus is the true friend that I long for. He has loved me in the midst of my mess and my faults. He rejoices with me in my success, he weeps with me in my failures and frustrations. He does not tire of me, but longs to be with me. He cares. He listens. Because I have this kind of friend, I can move out into relationships secure in the love of Jesus. I can work on being a good friend because I know Jesus is my truest friend.