Patterns with friends 

Friends are a massive part of our lives because God made us to need them and want them. In fact, our growth, achievements, purpose and fulfillment are linked to them.

”As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.“

Proverbs‬ ‭27‬:‭17‬

All of us have amazing friends and all of us have lost some of those friendships. As we get older we realize some people come in our lives for seasons and others for a lifetime. Through this process we have ups and downs, disappointments and success, but this is a part of life and we grow through it.

The challenge we have is to not let the hurt shut us down to where we miss out on the friends God has for us. The truth is, our greatest pain in life comes from relationships. These moments of pain can shape us in how we see ourselves, others and the world. However, this can be short sighted and not in the flow of God’s thoughts and plan for us.

When we go through this type of pain, we’re tempted to shut down and avoid trusting friends. But this is a mistake because whatever God wants to do in us, will always include others.

That’s right! The plan of God for our lives includes others!

We need friends which is why it’s vital we have healthy patterns with them. 

Having healthy patterns with friends starts with us. We have to be pro-active toward others and toward ourselves. This helps us to grow personally and be healthy in our lives. This is ongoing. 

From this place, I’m pro-active in reaching toward others and engaging with them. God’s plan is that we engage, verses standing in a corner waiting for others to make the friendship work.

Here’s how the Bible says it,

”A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭24

Notice how we must be friendly to have friends. We take ownership of being in a posture that reaches out, loves others and has a heart for them.

So, here’s three things to have healthy patterns with friends.

First, humility. 

Humility is a quality that brings people to us. Pride is a quality that repels them from us. 

Our growth, friendships and purpose are enhanced when we choose humility as our posture. 

The reality is, we need Jesus and we need friends. No one can do this alone, so when we have humility is opens doors to meaningful friendships. 

Humility says I need others. Pride said I don’t need anyone. Humility says I can learn from you. Pride says I know more than you. Humility says I can’t do this alone. Pride says I’m strong enough by myself. Humility reaches out and cares for others. Pride goes inward and cares only about self.

Humility opens heart and pride shuts them down. 

Healthy patterns with friends begins with humility. It’s being vulnerable and open with the right people. I believe when we choose humility as our posture, it’s going to lead to the right friends. Conversely pride will lead us to the wrong friends. 

So, do you humility today or pride in the area of friends?

Second, boundaries.

Having boundaries is a sign of a healthy person and friendship. Of course this doesn’t reference being petty or manipulative with this topic. 

It means having the confidence to have good boundaries that help the grid ship grow in trust and meaning. 

Boundaries help friends grow and be safe in their relationship. Not having boundaries actually causes the relationship to be unsafe which stifles or even ends the friendship.

Having boundaries gives respect and honor to each other in area like personal convictions, conversation topics, patience, respect and more.

It’s from boundaries that we build trust and a bond that can grow over time. However, I’ve noticed how adults struggle to have boundaries. Speaking up and having open conversations doesn’t just happen. Because of this, these conversations are not happening enough. 

Which is why we take a pro-active posture in our friendships. We engage in conversations that convey boundaries, talk openly and choose to be honest. We care enough to talk and be real.

This is where we grow deeper in meaningful friendships.

Do have boundaries in your friendships? Are you easy for your friends to talk to about their boundaries? 

Consider this and move forward one step at a time. Make any adjustments needed for growth and health.

Third, serve others.

Friendships works best when we serve each other. It can’t be a one way street. It must be mutually caring and serving one another. 

This means we’re a part of their world and what’s important to them. We value them so we value what they value. 

We ask questions, go to events, listen when they vent and support them in their endeavors. The serving fiend is a great friend.

Therefore, we choose to serve our friends. We choose to ask questions and learn about them. We choose to understand them and why they do what they do. When we study our friends and know them, we’re empowered to serve them well. 

It’s my belief that too many people make everything’s out them which limits potential and friendships.

I also believe that when we serve our friends, it empowers us to grow past our limits and discover new depths in our friendships. 

I love the saying, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Notice, when we care it opens the door to what we can share with them.

Are serving your friends today? Who are you serving?

Great growth and purpose comes when we serve others. Especially our friends.

How are you doing with your friendships?

I encourage you to evaluate yourself in this area and seek to grow and in humility, boundaries and in serving. We’re responsible for our actions, and when we take ownership of that, the friendships we need, and want can happen.

God has great things for you and he has great friends for you too!

Have a great day and the best is yet to come,

PD

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