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Making … and Keeping Friends: First: Be a Friend

“Friendship, friendship, it’s the perfect blendship.

If other friendships will be forgot, ours will still be hot.”

This old song represents an ageless yearning for lasting friendships. They are a woman’s life line. We need someone with whom to share our deepest longings, fears, joys, and sorrows. This week we will focus on being better friends.


First: Be a Friend

Add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

2 Peter 1:5-7

I learned it at my mother’s knee: to have a friend, be a friend. Like many of these adages I heard growing up, I never knew exactly what they meant, even as I tried to incorporate them into my life.

Now, from an adult perspective, I think I get it. All of those qualities I most wanted in a friend had to also be present in me. Loyalty, trustworthiness, other-centeredness, caring, compassion, kindness, gentleness—oops, I think I just lapsed into a list of the fruit of the Spirit (read Galatians 5:22-26).

Exactly! Building my own character has to take precedence over looking for those character traits in others. If I’m not maturing in Christ, seeking to develop into His likeness, I won’t be an attractive candidate for godly women who also need friends.

Having been a pastor’s wife for forty years, you can imagine what others expected from me in regard to the “perfect Christian.” Likewise, imagine my feelings when I would be told I didn’t quite measure up (usually, because they disagreed with something happening in the church—as though I had some ultimate power to “fix things.”) But I digress! My role was to grow in Christ, not to grow into their idea of Christ. Keeping my focus on Christ was tough, but essential, to developing whatever level of spiritual maturity I possessed at the time.

I do know I was pulled kicking and screaming into the trait of patience (looong-suffering!), which hadn’t been my strong suit! What character trait is God seeking to develop in you right now? If you don’t know, look at your present circumstances. Has He put in your life a problem person? Are you wearing thin on compassion? Do you find kindness isn’t your first reaction to a blunt comment?

Ah, He’s building character. He’s making you into a friend others will profit from knowing. And wouldn’t it be great if He would start with the friends first?? But He doesn’t. Tag, you’re it. To have a friend, be a friend.

In friendship,