I am so grateful for my friends. I don't have hundreds of them, but I have a handful that I could not do without. As I thought about friendship and exactly what Christian friendships should look like, it occurred to me how different my friends are from one another. Somehow, God put each of them in my life and together, they form a network of support that is obviously God-sent.
While each is unique, they share a few common characteristics. First and most importantly, my friends love the Lord. He comes first in their lives, and they know that they were created to glorify Him. While they know that they often fall short, they are continually striving to live lives that are pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9), while at the same time rejoicing in the fact that there is nothing they must do to gain His approval(Eph. 2:8-9)!
The second thing my friends have is an attitude of openness. If they are struggling or down, they are honest about it. When they are joyful, it is written all over their faces. I never have to pry anything out of them, or leave my time with them wondering what was wrong. They are willing to share their lives because we have developed a trusting relationship. When two people trust one another, there is no need to fake anything. Real, honest people have real, honest friendships.
Thirdly, my friends don't judge me. They hold me accountable. In humility, they are willing to point out areas of my life where sin has crept in. Some of them can even spot an attitude problem that I had overlooked, which we find out later is rooted in sin. In the same way, I always feel free to humbly point out areas of their lives that may be problematic. We can ask one another for help in dealing with heart issues and know that an objective, biblical response will be forthcoming. At the same time, we all have different opinions about Christian liberties in disputable matters, and we respect one another’s freedom in Christ.
I love my friends. They are my daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers in Christ. I know that God has placed each one in my life for a reason. He is the One who sustains our relationships because He is the author of trust, honesty, and accountability. He is the perfect model for all of these characteristics.
A good friendship begins in Christ, continues by the Holy Spirit, and is superintended by the God of the Universe. Hallelujah! What a blessing! What a Savior!