I’m so lonely Ray, I hear this over and over. We’re commanded to love each other in the same way God loved us, so I can’t help but think there’s a measure of Jesus in making new friends. As you open your life to new people, maybe it’s time to change acquaintances into true friends.
Whether your life is overflowing with people, or your day-to-day existence is lonely, there’s room for another real friend. Most of us have more obligations than time, but most of us haven’t mastered managing our priorities. It’s not easy, but if you want to spend time on a relationship, chances are there is something you can change or remove to make room for it—whether it’s one night a month during which you do not binge-watch Netflix so you can hang with a friend. Or spending your coffee break catching up by phone. Or texting something just because you know it will make them laugh. Or occasionally waking up an hour early to exercise together before the rest of your house awakens. It’s worth the potential sacrifices.
It’s not all about you. Share your own stories and be real—but remember that friendship is a two-way street. A one-sided friendship goes nowhere fast. Instead of wondering what you will get in return, ask yourself what you can offer. It changes the dynamics of the relationship and often results in reciprocal kindness. friendships die because one person resents putting forth all the effort, so decide now to be the person who does most of the work. People are busy, and their lack of communication may not be a rejection, but a normal response to a busy life. Don’t take it personally; try again. When you invest time in your friends, they’ll know they are valuable to you.
Today in creating true friendship whether romantic or plutonic consider what scripture says, “above all, before all, and through it all—love one another.” It seems obvious and sounds trite, but it is true: love is the answer to nearly any question. In all things, err on the side of love. By doing so, you’ll brighten the life of anyone you’re involved with, and as you practice living the way Jesus taught, you’ll see more of Him in your friends, and they’ll see more of Him in you.
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command… Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” – John 15:12-15, NLT
Yahweh, thanks for being my friend. Father, teach me to love others the way you first loved me. As I build friendships with others, let them see You in the extent of my generosity, the authenticity of my kindness, and the depths of my love. God, all those things are only possible through you, the God who abides with me and calls me friend. I love You my friend Christ Amen.
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