Ideally, friends & family should pretty much feel like the same thing. God created us for community – to encourage each other daily. John Piper said, the purpose of fellowship and community is so that we would say & do things for one another that keep us believing in & close to God.
“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” ~Hebrews 3:13
Hebrews 3:13 says to exhort (meaning to strongly encourage) one another EVERY day because you’re being lied to every day. Your flesh is lying to you, this world is rigged to lie to you. So, really, don’t let your lives become too busy that you let a day go by forgetting to converse-with or love-on your true people – those people are God’s hands and feet, they are – like you – a light in this dark world.
I have learned in the past few months that community is worth fighting for.
We fight for it by going out even if we’re exhausted & stressed. We fight for it by setting reminders on our phone when life gets too busy to text & check in on someone. We fight for it by dropping everything & praying for and with our friends. It is SO worth speaking your heart to your BFFs even though we may be timid about confrontation. It is SO worth giving our time, love, energy, resources, etc – to those who love us & would do the same things for us.
How would Jesus be there for those He loved? He gave His all for us, He serves us, He heals us, He desires us, He forgives us, He cherishes us, He pursues us.
Do you have any friends like that? Go and find them. Are YOU that friend? Here are 5 ways you can be:
1: Treasure them. We humans always seem to want what we don’t have & Teddy Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy.” Treasure your friends by being thankful for them, loving them steadfastly & giving them grace through their quirks – love them through their little annoyances (which we ALL have). Press through hardships with them, they will make you stronger friends. Be a sounding board – LISTEN to them. Be a rock for them, always reliable. Cherish them, don’t forget how thankful you are for them. I can count my best friends on one hand & that is more precious than if I had a #SQUAD of 40.2: Be Truthful. Be yourself! Show them who you truly are – don’t hide anything about your amazing personality because even if there are things that you don’t like about yourself, those quirks make you even MORE irreplaceable. Your friends will in turn be themselves with you. Life is more fun that way! When you can giggle at the same weird stuff, when you can prank the boys or watch those old movies (hello Parent Trap) together. Be loyal, don’t gossip because that’s one of the most harmful things you could do to one another – not only will you will lose the trust of that person, but once that happens, you’re in BIG trouble. There is also a need to be truthful in discussions. A ‘yes man’ will never earn respect – have discussions, it’s OKAY to disagree because you’ll both learn something in the end, anyway! Jesus is not a ‘yes man,’ He will convict your heart – don’t be afraid to speak to someone out of love.
3: Support & Encourage: Think of this like you’re someone’s mother, make sure you are building up one another – make it your goal to give them a confidence boost! Help your friend move, help them with their taxes (yuck), give them the push they need to do something they love. Encouragement is the anecdote for jealousy. Congratulate the friend who got the job over you, be truly happy for the sister that got engaged first, compliment that purse you couldn’t afford (looking at you, Louis Vuitton). Being everyone’s cheerleader is the only option that doesn’t end in pointless pain.
4: Act! Keep the fellowship going by remembering to simply text them, planning hangouts, sending random funny “I Love You” gifs, posting on their FB wall, planning a surprise party, inviting them over for a Netflix & chill fest… Get creative! They’re your girls, after all!
5: Know The Goal: Let truth fuel your relationships… John Piper said that the reason God wants us to have fellowship is so we can keep each other believing. Accept yourself in the process, when the enemy whispers lies of jealousy or pride – remember the goal and press on. We are talking about people that will go to BATTLE for you & you for them. So don’t take your relationships lightly.