In my 19 years of life, I have moved to 5 different schools and lived in 7 various places across England. I love making friends, but keeping them is hard when you are constantly moving around.
Since I was little, I’ve always been a people person and get my energy from others, although on the flipside too much people time and I need to retreat to a bubble bath or go have a nap. When I was younger I could make friends easy as pie! I would like a girl’s barbie doll, I would introduce her to my barbie and we would be BFFs!!
Although this has changed as I have grown older I have realised how tricky it can be to ever be FULLY KNOWN and to have friends who your going to get alongside with. I’m very privileged that some of my closest best friends today I have known since living in London many years ago! This group of girls have been my rocks through some of the most challenging years of my life and encourage me to keep on preserving with Christ.
Although due to the nature of my dad’s job as a Pastor we have moved away from my security comfort bubble bath of London friends! Into the big wide English counties, having to fend for myself and make my own friends! God’s plan and purpose for us as we live on Earth, is to live in community, to encourage and spur one another on for mission and in our struggles and daily battles with sin.
Once I hit into the Instagram, Facebook and snapchat age of 13! I found that COMPARISON was a huge part of my struggles and affected my friendships! I would be happily and content watching a movie with my family on a Friday night and then see a friend of mine invited to THE party of the week, where I knew that all the popular guys and girls would be discussing the birthday bash on Monday at school. I would instantly feel F O M O (fear of missing out) lonely and sad all because of that one photo, snapchat video, perfectly edited photo of a beautiful tall skinny girl holding iridescent birthday numbered balloons.
This comparison affected me deeply, as I was always surrounded by friends who where a couple of inches taller than me, could afford buying a whole new outfit from Hollister every week, had the latest Iphone when I had a flip phone, tall and straight up and down when I had started to have curves and clever than me. In everything and every area possible, I compared myself.
This made friendships fuelled with JEALOUSY and Comparison and DREAD! My anxiety was fuelled by my friendship struggles and feeling insecure/ discontented. ALTHOUGH TIME AND TIME AGAIN God would prompt me and remind me back to 1 PETER CHAPTER 4 V 8- 10 titled in the NIV “Living for God” which says “Above all, LOVE each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each one should use whatever gift he received to serve others faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Let’s unpack this verse and the words I have highlighted. First, we should Love our friends deeply, they are all handmade from GOD and a gift to us. THEREFORE, we should show unconditional love to our friends (Like the reasons mentioned in my previous article on family) and invest in a few of our closest pals deeply. As we look to the example of Jesus, he had a wider group of friends the disciples, but his closest friends where John and Peter. We are told in the bible too be generous with our resources and gifts, hence we should offer hospitality to one another which is an extension of love. Moreover, we are told to use our gifts of grace in all circumstances and use it in friendships! We should serve our friends unconditionally like the example of our great High priest Jesus washing his friend’s feet.
5 Tips To Help You Have a Healthy View of Friendships
1) Invest in a few deep solid friendships- those who will encourage you and rebuke you gently.
2) Show unconditional love to your friends in the times when you are disagreeing or agreeing!
3) Offer hospitality freely (e.g. cook meals for your friends in high pressured times like exams, coursework, use your time, to write letters to your friends and encourage them with bible verses).
4) Don’t use the comparison to distance yourself from your friends- popularity isn’t our aim in life!
5) Keep on praying to Jesus in your struggles and delights of friendships
So, this week surround yourself with friends that make you more like Jesus each day where superficial things aren’t as important, as knowing Christ and each other and glorifying God is.
Send this to a friend that you love!