By: Melinda Walker
One of my favorite songs when I was in high school (such a long time ago) was Michael W. Smith’s “Friends”. I was even able to sing it with one of my friends during our senior night for high school choir. The words of the chorus are:
“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends”
I will have to admit, while I was in school, I had good friends and I, also, had bad friends. I still communicate with my good friends from time to time. But my other “friendships” faded once they found something or someone else better.
How do you decide who your friends are? Do you look at how pretty they are? What kind of car they drive? How much money they (or their parents) have? Or how popular they are?
How do you feel about your current friends? Do they really care about you? Do they lead you down a path that you don’t need to go? Or do they lift you up and keep you going on the right path as a Christian? Are they going to be your forever friend no matter where life takes you?
In this world there are people that lie, cheat, manipulate, steal, and do so many things that don’t match up with the Christian life. But yet, we still follow them and call them our friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe God wants us to be kind and friendly to people, even those who do wrong. My daughters often called these friends “acquaintances” because they would talk to them during school and play sports with them, but never hung out with them because they did things that my girls didn’t agree with. And the “acquaintances” knew that, and for the most part, I think the “acquaintances” respected them for that. There has to be a line drawn so others can see that we, as Christians, don’t accept what they are doing and that we, as Christians, are different. How are you showing others you are different and that you love God if others don’t see you as any different than they are?
I will admit, it’s hard to be different. And at times, it can be lonely. But God! He always provides us with what we need at the time we need it. If you feel lonely, God is always there for you. If you’re tired of being different, He can help you and encourage you. Proverbs 18:24 says “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Never forget that God is there for you, whenever you need that friend to help you through everything in this life.
Let me encourage you, if you haven’t found that person yet, to pray for that friend who will stand by you, encourage & motivate you, be your friend through thick and thin, be your accountability partner, and love God and want to walk in His ways just like you. When you find that person, they will be your friend for a lifetime, no matter where God may lead you.