By Lauren Maggs.
Over a meal the other day, I was chatting to a friend about the real joy of having friends you know you can call on with no reservations. Christian friendship has been one of the sweetest discoveries of my adult life.
I consider this a marvellously easy blog to write, not because I’m such a great friend, but because I have such good Christian friends. I consider myself truly blessed by the many godly women the Lord has sent my way. I write this blog based on their faithfulness, love and character.
I’ve drawn on their behaviour to guide these principles, in the hope that this would spur me on to be a better friend.
1. A good friend walks the road of life with others
Romans 12:15 talks about rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn. What a joy to have friends who have whole-heartedly rejoiced with me through special events in my life? They have entered into my happiness by talking about the event with me, counting down to special events for me and putting themselves out to celebrate wins with me.
Conversely, that have sat patiently with me as I have wallowed in self-pity and frustration and pain. They have been heartbroken with me. They have willingly weathered the highs and the lows of life with me. That’s what it looks like to walk the road of life with others.
2. A good friend encourages others
Good Christian friends encourage you to persevere. They do more than just say a few nice things to make you feel better – they pour out and stir up courage in you to help you keep going. As Hebrews says, they “spur you on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). There is an idea of forward motion in Christian encouragement. They push you onward. Very often, a cup of coffee on the couch of a good Christian friend has given me the courage to keep fighting the good fight.
3. A good friend speaks the truth in love
A sweet joy to me has been how much I value correction from a friend. By speaking difficult truth to me, that have shown me that they love me. They have not cherished their own comfort more than my godliness. Ephesians 4:15 reminds us that speaking the truth in love in one another is what causes us to grow.
4. A good friend lets you into their lives
The great blessing of being part of a community of believers is that you have evidence of God’s work in the lives of others, even when you feel like you can’t see it in yourself. When a friend welcomes you into their lives to walk with them, you get to have a front row seat to see how God is working. God’s work in their lives becomes a physical reminder to you of his power and sovereignty. Hearing a friend express faith in God during one of their trials, strengthens you to face your own trials.
5. A good friend points you to God
I cannot thank God enough for the countless times that my friends have pushed me towards him. It is a great blessing to have a voice outside the mess of your own head reminding you that God is in control. Whether through thoughtful messages, prayer for you or with you or conversations, my friends have reminded me to turn back into God.
In a world desperate for authentic and true relationships, Christian friendship always stands out as evidence of God’s wisdom and grace.