friendsThere are all kinds of friends

These two dogs are friends, both to each other and to our family.

There are the friends in school and the ones from living on the same street, and those that you make from doing the same activities (music,fishing, baseball, art class).

Going through life will quickly teach one that a friend does not always stay friendly, there are times when you realize a person was not truly a friend at all but other friendships last a lifetime.
How are we to know when we have a good friend?
Of course there’s the old adage: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
But how often is what we think we want from another not healthy for us?
How often do we first look for one kind of a friend and when we find it we realize that was not what we wanted after all?
That’s when the perspective needs a flip.
Instead of looking at friendships as what can we receive we should be looking at it as what can we give.
How can we best encourage those we call friends?
It may not look like what you think.
Do you pray for your friends?
Asking God to give you insight into what would bless and encourage them even if it is not something you would look for a friend to do.
Are you honest with your needs and emotions in such a way that is not burdening but truthful.
What do I mean?
Does your friend only hear from you when something is wrong?
Do you stop and ask your friend, “What can I pray for you?” or “How is your Mom I know you said last week she was in to see the doctor”?
Do you allow your friends to bless you in return in the ways that God has gifted them?
Are you willing to have someone over for tea even if your house is not spotless?
Are you open enough to ask for their expertise in an area you know they love or have gifting in?
Don’t feel that this is a finger pointed into your chest saying that you need to straighten up.
In fact it is what I have been hearing and asking myself.
Because God has been blessing me with people in my life who have poured out their time, energy, and love upon me and my family and I frankly don’t deserve a single bit of it.
I have weaknesses and I struggle with being open enough to ask for help.
I have a busy schedule and I struggle with putting things aside to make time for a chat over coffee.
I have pride and struggle with looking someone in the eye and saying, “I’m hurting I need prayer.”
I have selfishness and struggle with putting off something I enjoy doing when I need to be connecting with others.
Praise the Lord for He is patient and so are my friends!
“A friend loves at all times,” Proverbs 17:17a

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