"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Why do we have friends? Why didn’t God create us to be loners, individuals with no one to turn to?
Here’s what the Bible says about it:
"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."
God didn’t want us to be alone. Besides our family, He created friends that we could fellowship with, encourage, and create memories with. He made the church so we could have fellow believers to worship with and learn from, and, technically, our Christian friends are our brothers and sisters in Christ!
But, like seasons, friends can fade in and out of your life. I’ve had many, many friends walk into my life, and, just as quickly, we lose touch, or something happens, and poof! They’re gone. I’ve even had one old best friend from middle school completely forget who I was and our past friendship and memories. I still sorta know her, but it’ll probably never be the same as it was.
God has a plan, though, like you probably know quite well by know. He is in control of everything, even which friends I have at which moments. And because He wants what’s best for me, I know that I can trust Him, even when the friendships I’d like to see flourish are dying.
I used to wish I had more “normal” friends- normal as in what I could see from one-minute glimpses of others- that I could talk with about the usual high school chatter (boys, gossip, going shopping, nails and beauty stuff, etc.) Then I really stop to think about it. Do I really want to do that, or is that just my sinful nature messing with my head? Do I really want to be talking about worthless, worldly stuff (and to clarify, I do not believe that boys are worthless 😊 God created them, too, for a reason!) like clothes and makeup and those things? And then I really think about it, and I remember what God says about gossip and especially to not be like this world. And, since God has a plan, He put the friends I have right now into my life for a reason.
However, a month or two ago, I was starting to give up. I was almost ready to quit on my friendships, go out to the world, and find some ‘real’ people (that’s what I thought at the time) to be friends with. And ‘real’ as in worldly ‘normal’ people. (Honestly, I have no idea what I was thinking then. How was I ever gonna bring myself to do that??) I remember what happened next clearly: One moment I was opening my closet door, the next, I was praying hard that God would show me why my life was like this.
Because what I really wanted, deep down, was a girl I could talk about my faith with. All my life I’ve been longing to encourage others- not just through this blog, but face-to-face.
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another."
I wanted to go out there and live the life God wants me to live, starting with the little things. And what I wanted was what some people call a Silas, and a Timothy.
Let me explain. So, you know how in the New Testament, there’s three men called Paul, Silas, and Timothy? I would put myself right between Silas and Paul, and Paul would represent someone older and wiser than me that I could learn from. Silas would be like a close companion, someone who’s at about the same point of faith that I’m at and with whom I could grow spiritually with. And lastly, Timothy would be someone I could teach, encourage, and lift up. Because in the Bible, Paul’s companion was Silas, and he (Paul) taught Timothy.
So, what I really needed was, then, the last two. I didn’t want to be someone who just kept his/her faith to herself/himself and never spoke about it with others. I wanted to share what I’d learned with others, but I didn’t know who to share it with.
Well, back to the story, I started praying that God would send me someone I could encourage and someone I could talk about faith with. One week after I started praying for that, He answered by giving me a Silas- through my best friend! We hadn’t really talked deeply about faith before, so I was super excited when we did. I was like, “THANK YOU, JESUS!!” Seriously, I wanted to jump up and down.
And then, last week, my closest friends (including my bestie) and I went camping with some other people. Sitting in a car one night, we started sharing where we were in our walk with God and our testimonies. Right after that, the Holy Spirit prompted us to start a Bible Study-with just us four to make a safe, secure environment- the next morning at seven o’clock sharp. I was so excited I dreamed about it three times that night! And this time, I literally jumped up and down. There was my second answer to prayer!! I now had both a Silas and three Timothy’s!
So now I realize why God put those specific people in my life. If I had been with other friends, I may not have started talking about faith with them. And because my friends and I rarely talk about those things I listed earlier, there was room for Christ to enter our conversations. Let me just say that this is SO much better!! I wouldn’t change it for the whole world or a million bucks. I love those three like sisters, and I’d never trade them for someone else. God truly has a plan, and He puts the people I need into my life (even if I don’t realize it until later on). If I had ran off and obeyed Satan, I wouldn’t have been reminded of what I really wanted and the friendships I already had. And God puts certain people into your life based on what He thinks is best for you.
If you’re wondering right now why you’re friends with someone, I just want you to remember that God has placed that person into your life for a reason. Maybe God wants you to encourage that person, or maybe that person is gonna be used by God to encourage you. Or this could be a chance for you to practice being slow to anger. Maybe it’s even an opportunity to share your faith!!
But you must also be aware of the unhealthy friendships. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” If you get influenced easily, I advise you not to spend too much time with those who could affect your walk with God. Maybe wait until you’re a little bit stronger. But make sure you pray about it before doing anything! He might have another plan for you or He may want you to be a light in that person’s life. Also, know that who you hang out with is who you’re gonna become, because we can be influenced even without trying to. The more you spend time with someone, the more like them you’ll become. Choose your friends wisely.
Another thing I want y’all to keep in mind is the fact that we are influencing others- our friends, our neighbors, our family. People will always be watching us to see how we react to things, how we talk, how we treat others, etc. What do you want them to see when they look at you? And think about the younger ones who are looking up to you. What kind of example do you want to be to them?
Here’s a couple questions for you to chew on this week instead of the normal challenge:
o Who are you hanging out with, and how are they influencing you?
o Is there someone in your life who you’re friends with and you don’t know why? I encourage you to pray that God would reveal that to you.
o What kind of example do you want to be to your friends?
o Do you have friends with whom you can share your faith with? I strongly recommend starting a Bible Study. Ask your parents for help in starting one.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
see full list of posts here
"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."