Wednesday, December 15

Genuine Friendship

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. --Proverbs 18:24

Just as is true in other parts of life, friendships can go through seasons. There are times when new friendships are made almost constantly. I remember when I was a freshman in college and I was getting to know many people all at once. My social circle at that time seemed to change just about every quarter. With a few exceptions, almost none of those relationships ever developed much beyond the "study buddy" phase.

During my sophomore year I become involved in Campus Crusade for Christ. It was there that I began forming relationships on a different level. In fact, one of the selfish reasons I started attending was for the purpose of finding someone to possibly start a dating relationship. (Nothing ever came of that there for me by the way!) Instead of making a lot of new male friends, I got to know a few girls quite well. Being able to connect with them on the spiritual level enabled me to form much closer friendships than I had previously experienced at college. The more time I invested in those worthwhile relationships, the more I learned how to recognize genuine friendship, and how to be a genuine friend myself.

Genuine friendship and the support and encouragement from those I consider my truest friends have played a valuable role in helping me weather life's storms. I learned that my true friends are the ones who stuck by me even during highly emotional times. They continued to stand beside me even when they knew I was too drained to be much of a friend in return. Those friends prayed with me and for me. They offered a shoulder for me to cry on, and never complained about the times I needed to just vent. I have done my best to try to be the same kind of blessing to them when they have needed it.

Many friends and acquaintances come and go throughout our lives. Some friendships start with a bang, but fizzle out within a short period of time. Some of us may only ever form surface level friendships. Lasting friendships are hard to come by and sometimes hard to keep. Those of us who are blessed enough to have a number of precious relationships need to work hard at maintaining and nurturing them. God has given me the gift of friendship in the form of a few amazing people. I hope that in the seasons of life to come, I can be the kind of friend they are blessed to have. I hope that I never take my friends for granted, especially the ones that are rooted most deeply.


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