Sunday, May 15, 2022

Friendship An Abode Of Both Reward And Sorrow

 By: Paula Short



"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 NIV

  

Women have a greater need for friendships than men do. Our friendships run deeper. Men like to "do things" with friends. Women want to "know things" about each other. We like to do things together too, like shopping, but we want to talk while doing it!


Girls are naturally drawn to each other. When friendships are lost, women grieve. A girl's first experience with heartache may have been over a lost "best friend" rather than a "boyfriend."


We grieve not just for the friendship but also for the secrets shared, trust, and acceptance enjoyed. No one can cause you more harm than someone you have trusted deeply. If betrayed, the pain runs deep.  


Proverbs 18:24 reminds us that we all need friends who will stick close, listen, care, and offer help when needed— In good times and bad.


"After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before." Job 42:10 NIV


In this verse, we see that Job could still pray for his friends. Pray for those who have hurt you. Can you forgive them? 


Most recall a time in school when a friend we trusted proved to have loose lips. It cut like a knife, and that is when it starts— the creation of the mask. 


The "you" you are willing to let the world see. We hide behind our masks, thinking we are better off, but we lose much. I lose the good advice of mature Christians, not to mention their prayers. If no one knows I'm struggling, I deny them the chance to minister to me and keep me accountable.  


No matter how it started and how it was reinforced, we want to look at how we can take the mask off and start to be authentic.


"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." Proverbs 27:9 NIV


In Scripture fragrant aroma of ointment or perfume could be interconnected to close-knit, loving, and trusted relationships and friendships.


Sometimes We don't want to risk letting people see the bad stuff. If we allow people to see just the good stuff, we will not be accepted and enjoy good friendships if we never let them see the bad.  


If you are being accepted by people because of the false front you present— then deep down, you know it is only the false front being accepted. 


Friend, it's better to have one friend than dozens of superficial acquaintances. Instead of wishing you could find one true friend, seek to become one. 


There are people who need your friendship. Ask God to reveal them to you, and then take on the challenge of being a true friend. True friendships are intentional.



14 comments:

  1. Paula, such a beautful post on friendship; the good, the bad and the ugly. We need the vulnerability friendship offers, yet it really leaves us open to hurt deeply too. Thank you for the reminders on forgiveness, and to not be afraid to love others again through offering friendship! I praise God for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much, Donna, you are a treasure to me, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so true, Paula, "It's better to have one friend than dozens of superficial acquaintances." And this is good advice, "There are people who need your friendship. Ask God to reveal them to you. True friendships are intentional."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Paula, I have always had those one or two solid good friends and the rest are aquaintances but I think I need to stretch myself a bit more, be more transparent if it shows Christ in me. Great Post
    God bless
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  5. "True friendship is intentional." So true! I must confess it is hard for me to let people in because it also takes being intentional to take time to share hearts. I need to get better at this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you on this, it's hard for me too at times too.

      Delete
  6. Those friends God sends - they are the best. I've learned, too, that friendships are like the tide - there is a flow and ebb - though some may move out, in another season, they move back in. God's mysterious ways allow both us and them to grow - and sometimes that means growing apart before we can grow back together again - and in the process, we learn not only how to remove our masks, but to love those who remove theirs. Thank you for the reminder to be authentic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Humm... good points to ponder. You're right, I haven't thought of that before.

      Delete
  7. It is indeed a blessing to have even one trustworthy friend and equally a blessing to be such a friend. Thanks, Paula.

    ReplyDelete
  8. True friendship through good and bad, thick and thin, is one of life's greatest blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It sure is Barbara. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.