Have you read Marva’s post – Why is Friendship Important in a Disconnected World, yet?
Well, you need to…
I absolutely love the way she starts:
“Friends. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.
Is that your view of friendship?
Many times we want the benefit of friendships but don’t want the hassle of making them work.”
It’s so true, isn’t it?
My brother visited from Michigan this week and we had a couple of conversations about the challenges of maintaining friendships in a social media world.
Sites like Facebook and Instagram make it easy for us to share the parts of our lives we’re willing to expose and leave the real story locked hidden away.
And friends everyone has a story. Everyone!
When it comes to social media, too often I’m comparing my hidden mess with your carefully edited.
It’s been more than a year and I can still picture all of us around the table like it happened a week or two ago. Seriously, I can remember where each person was sitting.
But more than our location at the table, I remember the question that invited us to share our stories…
” I want to know more, tell me your testimony.”
In other words, I want to know YOU – not just the pretty but the real.
That’s hard for us, isn’t it?
Especially with people we don’t know well … making ourselves vulnerable is hard. We can’t help but wonder if we can trust this person, this friend, with our pain?
I still get emotional whenever I think about it … that night and yes, even now, a whole year later … those girls are Romans 12 to me.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:9–10, 15
I believe we all want Romans 12 friendships but it’s hard, isn’t it?
Somewhere in our story someone has rejected or betrayed us and we wonder … will this person judge me? Will they use my story against me? Will they..?
And if we were stuck trying to figure it out on our own, we’d probably be tempted to give up.
But, we don’t…
Scripture has plenty of advice to bless our friendships:
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12–14
They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3–4
Don’t you wish it was easier?
Sometimes our messy stories get in the way and bump up against each other and we fall far short of God’s ideal for our friendships and family relationships.
Our nation is becoming more and more divided as people become more and more judgmental and closed off but you and I have the perfect opportunity to listen to each other’s stories with care and compassion. We can love like Jesus.
So, I’m going to mark those verses in my Bible so I can refer to them often.
And I’m going to the Lord in prayer.
I’d love it if you’d join me.
Father, Thank you for creating friendship!
You made us for relationships with you and with our families and our friends. I believe it all comes from You because You summed all your commands for getting along with others into one simple sentence.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Please forgive me, Father! I don’t love myself very well. And I definitely don’t love my neighbor, my friends, or my family the way you want me to.
Past hurts and failures, my own and those done by others, have left me wounded and defensive. It’s hard to put myself out there … it’s hard to trust.
Please help me let go. Help me forgive those who have caused me pain and KNOW down to the depths of my soul, how very much You have forgiven in me.
Your grace and mercy cover me and I believe they cover my friendships as well.
Your Word says:
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Father, Your love covers me. May it cover my friendships. Bless my friends through me and help me to love like Jesus. In whose precious name, I pray. Amen.
Friendships are messy because every friend has a messy story but with God’s help, I believe we can be Romans 12 friends and love like Jesus.
If you’re struggling in a friendship, please know I’m praying for you! If you have a specific need that comes from your messy story please know I would love to pray about it for you. You can leave a request on the Blessing Counters Pray Page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’d like to make some new blogging friends and haven’t joined the Blessing Bloggers Facebook Group – click on the link, answer a couple of easy questions, and I’ll be happy to add you!
One more thing before we get to the Link Party…
Next week we’re starting the Summer Sizzle Blog Hop! Throughout the months of June and July, a group of us will be featuring our favorite, top-rated posts on each other’s sites.
Each Monday morning, I will be sharing a post by one of the awesome ladies below…
So much fun stuff to share with you in the weeks ahead! Yay, for summer!!
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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