The Truth About Friendships
A friend is always loyal
A friend is there to help, in any given situation
Friends always show their love
— Proverbs 17:17
No matter what translation you read this in, the heart of the message is the same: a friend will always be there, a friend is someone you can trust, a friend delights in being there, a friend loves. The first time I read that in the bible I immediately thought "nope."
I shook my head at the proverb, then I read it over and thought this has to be true, it's in the bible and God's word does not lie. I then realized how warped my idea of a friend was. I've obviously been hurt by others who I thought were real friends, I even had unrealistic expectations on where friendships would go. I had to look into my heart and clarify what were the lies and what was always true.
Friendships. This topic is more complicated to me than anything else. For years I could never really have the right balance. I would dream up friendships with acquaintances that I would never see again, I made others a top priority when I needed to guard my heart, I would also close people off if things weren't going as I had hoped. You can see why I initially thought the proverb of a friend loving at all times was false.
I couldn't see that truth because I had this selfish standard; I did not give others the grace or freedom to make their own choices and not get offended or feel rejected. This sense of control is not love, I was the one who wasn't being the real friend.
Because of my pain, selfishness, and need for control, I lost many opportunities to get to know some people or from them getting to know me. Once things weren't going as I had hoped, I would fall into a pit of sadness and loneliness. Loneliness is a heavy blanket one wears when they believe lies. Lies like you aren't fun, no one cares to reach out, they have other friends, you're not thought of.
I finally had enough. I now read that proverb and remind myself that no matter what, a friend loves at all times. I am loved even if someone does not reach out, I am loved even if others gather without me, and others are still loved by me.
This is something I have kept inside for years. But God wants to expose this part of my heart for my understanding and for Him to heal. I can now breathe in His truth and be reassured that I am loved and cherished, by Him and by many others.
I share all this because I know I am not alone in feeling this way. But I was tired of staying in a pity party, what kind of life is that? Instead of letting my thoughts and emotions define the truth I now approach others boldly on how I am feeling and things get cleared up.
Be confident in knowing the true friends that you have, and remember all the ways that they have been there for you; it will erase the lies in your mind and bring you the freedom to enjoy life with others. The word says it is not good for man to be alone; God would never keep anything good from you.
If you're finding yourself feeling lonely, reassess your thought patterns with the truth: a friend loves at all times, God's thoughts about you are so precious and cannot be numbered, and wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
— Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
— Proverbs 27:6
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
— Psalm 139:17