What it REALLY Means to be a Friend

Last week was my first time going to church in a VERY long time…to be honest, I don’t remember the last time I attended and enjoyed fellowship with other Christians.  Overall, the experience was INCREDIBLY fulfilling.  It just so happened, that the pastor had been preaching on a three-week series focused on love.  The first week was aimed towards marriage.  The second was focused on singles.  The final, the one I attended, was all about friendship and how love is supposed to affect it.

The pastor was deliberate in asking of us, “Ask not what your friends have done for you, but rather what are you doing for your friends?  Have you been the best friend you absolutely can be?”

“No, I’ve been a wack friend lately,” I honestly responded in my head.

And I have been.  Over the holidays, life was throwing so much at me that I retreated into myself and focused mainly on self.  I needed to find resolutions to major questions about my life.  How did I get here?  How am I gonna get myself out?

Grind.  Grind.  Grind.

Focus.  Focus.  Focus.

Tunnel vision. Tunnel vision.  Tunnel vision.

Pray when I feel like it.

Me.  Me.  Me.

Nowhere in that train of thought did I think about others.  During that sermon I recognized that I have not been the friend to others that I expect them to be to me.  The pastor then pulled a scripture, using Ruther’s relationship with Naomi, to illustrate his point of sincere, authentic, genuine love in friendship.  Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law and with Ruth being recently widowed, she clung to Naomi, as a true friend, and let Naomi know that she would always be there, through thick and thin, always a shoulder to lean on.

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God me God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.'” -Ruth 1:16

Wow.  That is LOVE.  Only love can let you stand fast in such a manner, so that death can be the only thing to separate the two of you.

Since this sermon I’ve found myself reaching out more to those I hold closely to my heart.  I don’t want to be the fleeting friend who is around in times of convenience.  I want my girls to know that I have them…that I am here to hold them down.  While I know that they know this, it’s important that my actions back it up more times than not.

We all go through our seasons of personal growth, fellowship with others and everything between, but if it’s been a little minute since you’ve reached out to be that phenomenal friend that your friends have been to you, make that move TODAY to bridge the gap.  Life can be lonely but it doesn’t have to be.  We all have somebody out there who needs us, and vice versa.

Testimony: Immediately after leaving church I reached out to one of my closest friends up here.  I quickly learned that she was in the middle of her first major move since relocating here a few years ago.  I literally had no idea.  While packing up all that stuff was incredibly overwhelming for one individual, having an additional pair of hands to help took so much pressure off.  The very next day I found myself in her apartment having the best night ever packing up her FULLY stocked kitchen all because I was catching up with my girl, eating take-out, and catching glimpses of RHOA.  While my girl was grateful for the extra help, I was thankful that I was able to be there for her during such a stressful event.

God is ALWAYS right on time!

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