Why encourage a relationship with others who are “not” my faith, my family, my friends? They are not my style, not the kind of necklace I want to hang around my neck. Why should I care? But those “nots” are like the many knots on a fragile chain that links people together.
[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Ayodele Oluwafunsho. “Why Do You Need Friends” is a follow-up post to her last guest blog on Devotional Diva on the topic of friendship: “We Are Meant to Relate.” Look out for even more friendship posts from Oluwafunsho!]
WHY DO YOU NEED FRIENDS?
My last post was about what Friendship is and what it entails.
Today, I would like to discuss two other important aspects of Friendship.
- Why do you need friends?
You are a product of people’s inputs; whoever you have in your life is either adding to you or subtracting from you. This either brings a positive or a negative input into your life, let me say this “Don’t always be the motional fellow, the one always looking for help. Have something to offer too.” God made us for association and life is about reciprocation, give and take is what it entails.
- You Need Friends to:
- Gain clearer and better insight and understanding of the real issues of life.
- Share ideas, emotions, aspirations and help lift your body.
- Strengthen, encourage, sustain and help you emotionally, financially, socially and spiritually.
- Help in the days of adversity.
- They are there when nobody knows your name till people hear your name.
- They help you learn to love and serve.
- They teach you how to live fulfilled and die empty.
Real friends will stretch you and this is a matter of attitude.
WHO IS A REAL FRIEND AND WHAT WILL MAKE YOU KEEP YOUR FRIENDS?
- Someone who helps you deal with your pasts, inspires your present in order to have your future secured.
- Someone that brings out the genius in you and takes out the monster.
- Someone that invests in your strengths and helps you overcome your weaknesses.
- Someone who celebrate your victory and mourns your defeat, whatever hurts you, hurts him too.
- Someone willing to take risk and sacrifices for you.
- Someone who is sincerely committed to your success in life at all cost and seasons.
- Someone committed to God, a real one with an unwavering and uncompromising commitment.
- Someone travelling in the same direction with you.
- What Will Make You Keep Your Friends
True friends are like diamonds. The future is uncertain and brisk for a man who doesn’t have friends.
- RECOGNITION; You need to partner with the people God has placed in your life, but they are waiting for your recognition. It is the first factor to valuing, respecting and celebrating your friendship. (John 1:10) Take time to recognize the genius in your friend, it is the key to investment; it is the key to protection. Recognise their accomplishment as well.
Friends are carriers of destiny and they are protectors of destiny.
Your friends are all loaded with solutions and ideas.
FINALLY, don’t forget this;
Isolation is the beginning of Desolation and its susceptible to Destruction. It makes you Vulnerable.
Watch out for my next post: CATEGORIES OF FRIENDS
Oluwafunsho is a certified Relationship therapist. An author and a Christian writer. Married with kids.
[Guest post by Samantha Hanni: Trying to conceive, infertility, miscarriages and pregnancy are difficult times and Samantha is right — it’s so important to have a female companion on the journey! God certainly placed someone like this in my life, and what an encouragement she was!] …
[Guest post by Alicia Gill: I’m usually one to be pretty direct and honest; I have trouble holding in sour emotions. In this post, Alicia’s Sunday school student gives a great example of being transparent, letting it out, and “getting naked.”]
“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. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)
A few years ago, I taught a very sweet high school Sunday school class. The girls in there had such a love for the Lord, it was beautiful. Halfway through the year, we had a new girl join the class. To say that this new girl did not want to be there would be an understatement.
It’s not that she didn’t have a heart for the Lord, she did; it was about the fact that her family had just moved churches and she was not happy with that. She did not want to leave her previous church. She did not want to be in our class. She wanted to be back with the friends she loved and was comfortable with at her old church.
One Sunday morning, we had an opportunity to share with one another our feelings, worries, happiness; anything that was going on in our lives. The sweet new girl who never really talked much in class, really gave us an earful that morning. She let us know how unhappy she was, how she was sad about leaving her church, how she felt the girls in our church were just one big click that she was never going to fit in with, and if she could, she would go right back to where she came from.
She let it all out, or, as her sweet momma would call it, she “got naked.”
I felt terrible for how the new girl was feeling, it hurt my heart to know that she didn’t think she would fit in and that she didn’t want to give the other girls a chance at friendship. I was also worried about how hurt the other girls would be to be called a clique. Before class let out, I let the new girl know just how glad we were she was with us; That we loved her being a part of the class and that I hoped she would give us a chance to show her just how much we could love on her.
Being so transparent was risky. The new girl showed us her insecurities and vulnerabilities by opening up in such a raw way. But, you know what? Beautiful relationships were formed from it. The other girls had thought the new girl didn’t want to be friends; that she just didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Opening up like that let them know that they were all feeling the same way. It gave them an opportunity to love on her and show her that they did want to have meaningful relationships with her. It gave her an opportunity to take a chance on new friendships. To this day, they are all very close.
“Getting naked” about who we are is a risk.
But, it is that risk that can help us to establish real, intimate friendships. Friendship is a beautiful thing. The Lord gave us the gift of being able to develop friendships because He knew we would need each other to get through this life. But the only way to really develop those lasting, intimate friendships is to get naked and open ourselves up to taking a risk at forming lifelong bonds. It gives us the freedom to be who we are without having to explain ourselves or hide away any part we are afraid to let others see.
Take the risk: Get naked. Being transparent can be an open door to creating intimate friendships that last a lifetime.
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV)
Alicia Gill. Type A wife, mom and home manager. I’m learning to see life through God’s eyes as I strive to know Him better and share what I learn with the others. When I’m not blogging, I enjoy running, cake decorating (the reason I run), photography, endurance challenges with my husband & 3 boys, all the while depending on His unending grace, love & forgiveness.
[Guest post by Ozella Morris: Ozella’s story of the power of a godly friend is inspiring. I hope all of you surround yourself with encouraging friends like this!] Malachi 3:16 -Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to …
[Guest Post by Jenee Day: I honestly used to think gossiping was okay, even though I was a Christian. As I got older, I realized, like Jenee, gossip is not a harmless sin. Here’s why.] Today I contributed to the destruction of a relationship. Contributed …
[Maggie is on vacation so I thought I’d jump on and encourage you all with the three people you need to meet to achieve your dreams. My newest book, Dream Devotional, just released this month. Pick up a copy on Amazon for only $2.99!]
Dreaming together is important because we are designed, commanded, and encouraged into a loving relationship with God and each other.
I’ll never forget the day I was sitting at the front desk as the office receptionist when a woman walked in for an interview. She thought I was pregnant–say what??–and asked me when I was due.
I was completely shocked and mortified. She felt really bad too when she found out that I was in fact, not pregnant. My boss and I joked that she probably wouldn’t get the job because of her comments, but I’m so glad she did because it wasn’t until after she got the job that I found out she was a Christian and had heard a word from the Lord for me on why she thought I was preggers.
She told me, “God wants to birth a ministry through you — if you’ll let him, not to say that your future husband isn’t important.”
Anyone who knew me when I was single, knew how important my future husband was to me. I desperately wanted to be married, and for whatever reason God prolonged that dream until I was almost 30.
God knew the plans and purposes He created specifically for me. He knew if He brought my future husband into my life too soon — I wouldn’t have risked so many dreams with Him.
Friends, God created you for an individual and unique purpose as well. You have a divine destiny that only you can fulfill.
Don’t believe me? Just read the Scriptures full of men and women of faith who entrusted their lives to God in the most courageous circumstances. Sometimes, we don’t see until afterwards why God gives us the dreams and visions He does because He doesn’t want to scare us or hinder us from fulfilling our mission.
It wasn’t until afterwards that Joseph realized why he so arrogantly shared his dreams to all 12 of his brothers…after he was thrown in prison (not once but twice)…and after he was summoned into the courts of Pharaoh — did he see why God placed him in his prison cell for such a time as this.
Friends, you may be the catalyst for someone else’s dreams. If it wasn’t for the many brave women in my life — I wouldn’t be where I am today!
If you are currently experiencing the death of a vision or a dream — I encourage you to partner up with people who believe in you. Seek out trusted partners and ministry relationships to foster the dreams God has placed on your heart because they are strong enough to save not only your souls, but the lives of many others (James 1:21).
If you are wondering what kind of relationships I am talking about, I want to encourage you to connect with three different kinds of relationships to accomplish your BIG dreams:
1. A Mentor in the business — someone who has been there, done that, and can help guide you through the obstacles to become a expert person of business and integrity.
2. A Life or Dream Coach — someone who believes in you even if others including your family does not believe in you. Someone who will stand by you and lift your arms up like Moses when the battle becomes too weary.
3. Prayer partners — someone who can pray for you when you can’t pray for yourself. I never endeavor to write any books or speak at any function without asking for prayer covering. Prayer is the most powerful form we have against spiritual attack, so use it (James 5:16!
I feel like I am at a point in my life right now where I can look back and see God’s hand and His many answered prayers.