Lord of Lords. Wonderful Counselor. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. King of Kings.
Jesus is so many wonderful things. He is perfect in every way. He’s mighty and powerful and He knows us better than anyone else could. Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in just how mighty He is that I can forget that He is also my friend. He cares about the details in my life. He cares about my worries, my dreams, and rejoices with me in my successes. He wants to hear about our days. He hurts with us. He takes pleasure in life’s special little moments with us. He is always there when we call and never fails to listen. Jesus is a lot of amazing things and He is also the greatest example of a true friend.
I think we can all agree that it is so important to find good friends. Good friends make life sweet and truly are a gift. I know it sounds cliché, but we really weren’t meant to do it on our own. We have to remember though, while we’re on the search for good friends, we must also make sure we are a good friend as well. Are we being a friend we would like to find? It is crucial for us to truly take time to step back and ask ourselves how can I be the best friend to people that I can be? Who better to look to than Jesus to learn how?
Okay friends, let’s dive in and see what scripture tells us about how to be a good sister and friend so we can be as much of a friend like Jesus as possible.
- Speak the Truth – “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” (Proverbs 27:5-6)
Okay, this can be a hard one sometimes. Especially for my people pleasers out there. It’s easy to want to constantly support and “hype up” friends in everything they do. In fact, it may even make you feel like you’re doing something right because people love to be told what they are doing is amazing. As friends, we should be conscious of the boundary between encouragement and accountability. The Bible even takes it as far to say enemies are the ones who multiply kisses. We need to get over the fear of telling a friend the truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear. Calling out a friend for sin is true love. Helping our friends live a holy life is so important and is a great measure of friendship. Open rebuke means to help point out a friend’s sin personally and directly. We just need to make sure we are approaching the situation out of love and not judgment.
- Take Time to Listen – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this : Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)
One of the most valuable things we have in life is our time. It’s one of the only things we can never get back. We can buy all the gifts, give all the compliments, and encourage friends all we want, but the way to make a person feel truly loved and heard is to take time to listen. Sometimes that’s all someone needs. Everybody wants to feel heard. We as Christians are called to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Listening is more than just hearing. Listening is defined as giving attention to. Let’s remember how valuable it is to sit and give our full attention to someone who needs it. It is a great way to show love to anyone and everyone.
- Forgive Freely – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
It is plain to see the world is easily offended and not very forgiving at all. Bitterness is everywhere. That is why we have to be careful to not fall into the pattern of this world to write off someone as soon as they make a mistake. You can not be a good friend to someone that you are holding on to bitterness towards. We must remember how God forgives us seventy times seven and how freely He forgives us. Nobody is perfect and it’s human to make mistakes so we must show grace to the ones who hurt us. It is a lot easier said than done, but we need to remember God’s undeserved grace He freely gives us.
- Encourage One Another – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in habit of doing, but encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Encouragement can do so much good. It can help someone find hope, lead them to success, push them to keep going, and can simply brighten a day. Encouragement is powerful. The truth is, you never know what a person could be going through and how far one simple text or compliment could go.
- Love Unconditionally – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:12-15)
This is the good news friends. Jesus loves us so much that He laid down His life. The ultimate gift to us. God loves us with calling love. It is a commandment right from the lips of our Savior. Our love to others should reflect and direct toward Jesus’s love for us. God loves us because it’s who He is, not who we are. We don’t earn His love through our deeds or what we can do for Him. We must strive to love others like that. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done or who they are. It doesn’t matter what they can do for us. We must freely give our love. We must be a friend to all. Thank you Jesus for showing us how to be a friend to others by being the best friend this world has ever known.
Olivia is a member of Team LO and is a marketing major at Louisiana Tech University. She loves coffee dates, going on long walks, and her dogs, Max and Sophie.
Follow Olivia on Instagram @olivia_kate1