How to Get Friends: Be Friendly!
Friendship: it’s a hard topic and one that many of us avoid. It’s so easy to either think we don’t need any friends, or to be desperate to have them. God has been showing me lately that neither of those things is correct. We DO need friends. We need each other! I am in the midst of this right now, so I wanted to share it with others to hopefully help those going through the same things.
Friendship comes easy to many in elementary school, and in high school and college you are thrown together with your friends in a unique way. You have a special bond because you go through all the big changes of life together. That's why so many of us are close to people we met in college. But what about after college? Real life sets in, you get busy, perhaps married, have children, jobs; whatever the case may be, it is often very hard to make and keep friends in this stage.
So how can we do it? I must say that I am in the process of figuring this out, so I’m no expert! Here are a few things God is teaching me: 1. Be friendly. Psalm 18:24 says, “a man that hath friends must show himself friendly.” If we give off vibes that we don’t want or need friends, chances are we won’t have many. People will try and give up after a while. This is a hard one because sometimes we do want friends but we are shy or don't know how to express ourselves. Ask God to give you the courage you need to be friendly and meet new people.
2. Do good to others. Romans 12:17-21 talks about not repaying evil for evil, but instead doing good to those people. Sometimes when people don’t treat us right, it’s easy to just write them off or try to get them back. Instead, as the situation allows, we need to reach out to those people and do good to them, even when they haven’t given us any reason to. Yikes, another hard thing to do. I read something today that really helped me. It basically said if we are doing good to others just to get something in return or so they will like us, it is often pretty obvious. We have to make sure our motives are right when we do good to others. Sometimes that person may never be our friend. But, you never know how someone can change over time.
3. Don’t expect a perfect friend. It’s easy for many of us, myself included, to want a friend who is nearby, always there for us when we need them, we like all the same stuff, we are in the same stage of life, etc. If we are so focused on that, it’s easy for us to miss the people right in front of us who God has given us as friends. God may bring us a friend just like us, but He may also bring us a friend in someone we would have least expected. Be open to whoever God has placed in your life.
4. Lastly, although there is so much more on this topic:), treat others the way you want to be treated. Luke 6 talks a lot about this. If you want a friend, chances are the people around you do too. Sometimes we think we don’t know how to be a friend to someone, but just start by doing for them what you wish someone would do for you. Whether it’s just asking how they are doing and REALLY caring, praying with them, giving them something nice, offering to watch their kiddos, or whatever else you wish someone did for you, go ahead and do that for someone else! You never know what kind of blessing you will be to them, and that they will end up being to you.
Ultimately though, even if we do all the right things, sometimes people will still reject our friendship. In 2 Corinthians 12:15, Paul said that he would gladly spend and be spent for the people, even if the more he loved them, the less they loved him back. That is the kind of love Jesus has for us. When we were sinners, He died for us. We didn’t care about Him one bit.
Choose today to love others and be a friend to them, no matter how they treat you. You never know how God will use that little act of kindness in their life.