"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins & griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, every thing to God in prayer."
Jesus can be our best friend but it's clear through scripture that He still calls us to fellowship & community in earthly friendships with messy people.
Heather Blass shared about an early messy friendship and what God taught her through that and where He brought her because of that.
Close friendships are amazing and beautiful but we need to be sure they are healthy and growing as well. Sometimes we stuff things down over and over in a relationship but eventually it's going to blow up and possibly cause irreparable damage. Also God may be pruning that relationship for His purposes and plans but we may not see why He's doing what He's doing.
Here are some components of a healthy friendship:
1. Grace - We need to give grace. We don't always know what people are going through so assume the best about one another.
2. Truth -Be willing to face the truth.
a. The truth about myself - be who you are and be willing to share how you feel, always speaking the truth in love. Be willing & humble to hear the truth about yourself too.
b. Share what you are going through (in proportion with who you are with). If it's a brand new friend you don't want to spill all your guts but be willing to "go first". Sometimes this can cause an instant bond because of common issues. Don't stuff your stuff!
c. Let others share their ugly stuff. Let's not put each other on a pedestal because we are human and we are going to blow it.
"Friends love through all kinds of weather". Proverbs 17:17 (a) Let's not be just "fair weather friends" but also friends through the storms of life.
3. Trust - Be a trustworthy friend. Do I keep confidences and trusts? Can I be counted on to keep private what should be private?
"A perverse person stirs up conflict and a gossip separates close friends". Proverbs 16:28
4. Forgiveness - Do we forgive? Sometimes that forgiveness takes a while but we are the ones suffering if we do not forgive. "Love prospers when a fault is forgiven". Proverbs 17:9 God can turn a bad situation into a good & healthy relationship.
We can't lose ourselves in other people - our spouses, kids or friends. We must be whole in ourselves. We need to know who we are- each one of us is special & unique with our own passion and talents. Our identity can not be all about being someone's wife or someone's mom or someone's friend. The only One we can lose ourselves in is Jesus because He is perfect.
Jesus is grace, He gives 2nd chances, He speaks truth to us, He is trustworthy and the original Promise Keeper. He forgives - He paid the price for our forgiveness.
We need to beware of social media - it can be used for good and it can also be used for harm. How thoughtful am I about what I share or post?
Comparison kills contentment!
Community is so important and everyone has something to offer. We need to learn from one another and beware of becoming isolated. No mom should be or feel alone. We can change the world by how we raise our kids. Are we intergenerational? Becoming friends with someone outside your age group can offer rich rewards. Be sure to tap into your mentor moms - they choose to be in MOPS for you, as ones who've experienced much and as prayer warriors.
You get as much out of friendships as you put into it. The more you put in, the more you get out. You need to be able to share - be authentic. Put judgements aside & instead look to understand someone and what they are going through. Have grace and understanding. (Maybe they're in a hurry because they have diarrhea!)
We as the church need to care for each other - we are not perfect or always happy but let's be genuine and strive to be in harmony with one another.
"You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common". 1 Corinthians 1:10(b)
You've got a friend in me! And better yet, you've got a friend in Jesus!