"Just Friends" or Fellowship?
Oh boy, who has gone through “phases” while growing up? Some quite embarrassing phases when looking back? Skater, rocker, redneck... I’d say “Tom boy” was never a phase and I am/always will be about 60% “Tom Boy” and 40% “Girly”... maybe. Regardless of labels, I’m always going to be IMperfectly and uniquely ME. In all of these phases and chapters of growing up, we meet a ton of people. We create so many friendships. We have influences pouring in from every angle. Some are good influences and some not so much...
I went through a party phase. I made mistakes. I made “friends” who turned out to be the exact opposite. Looking back, most of these “friends” weren’t really friends at all. Some were, of course, but just like growing up, you can “grow out” of a friendship. I’m thankful for each and every person that walked in (and out) of my life. They may not know it, but they have all impacted me and helped me become the woman I am today. I especially am thankful for my past loves, my past romantic relationships. Without them, I may not have even found God. If any of you are reading this, there’s a whole lotta love and forgiveness in my heart.
While transitioning from girl to woman, those friends and influences in your life wean out if you’re trying to grow and better yourself in all areas. I’m finding that it REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE to have other driven, warm-hearted, authentic like-minded believers in your life! I used to think it didn’t matter and I was strong enough to stand on my own. I thought doing my own thing (which was minimal) was enough because I knew I loved God and that was pretty much it... Since transitioning again from friends to FELLOWSHIP, I have become closer and closer to God! This relationship is described by Jesus in His high-priestly prayer for His followers: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23). Literally, fellowship benefits you in every aspect of your life. Why didn’t I want this sooner?! Through fellowship... I am supported. I am loved. I am encouraged. I am inspired. I am held accountable. I am accepted. I am forgiven. I am raised up. I am prayed for. I am open-minded. I am challenged. I am GROWING. I am surrounded with REALationships and my REALationship with God is as real as ever. On top of everything these amazing men and women do for me, I get to do the same for them! We get to empower each other and be the disciple God wanted us to be. I am not alone and NEITHER ARE YOU.
Verses That Help Me:
Proverbs 17:17 - “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
What kind of friend are you? A genuine friend loves at all times. AT ALL TIMES, people! Not just when it’s “easy” or “convenient”. Love and loyalty are the glue that hold strong friendships together.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Wow, that’s a lot. Most people read this verse and think of a romantic relationship right away, but LOVE is in all healthy relationships. Real love is indispensable. If you have a friend like this, keep them forever. Hang onto them!! Take care of that relationship! Handle like it says “fragile” and make sure that they know how important they are to you.
1 Samuel 18:4 - “Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt.”
THAT’S LOVE, Y'ALL! Good friends make sacrifices for each other. Friendships without sacrifices are friendships without commitments.
1 Corinthians 15:33 - “Do not be misled: ‘bad company corrupts good character’.”
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You tell me, is that good or bad?