Written by Spencer Meisner of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
We hear the question all the time: “Would you rather have two best friends, or ten great friends?” Whatever the variation of the number is, I think when we’re younger we assume that we want more friends, the more the better! As I’ve grown up, and have watched others grow up around me, I’ve seen my answer to this question change.
We know we’re made for relationships, we know that we all want a best friend, and we know that we desire deep, meaningful friendships. It’s time that we put our money where our mouths are and be those friends to others.
If we want those close friendships that we would share anything with, including the last slice of pizza, then we need to invest in those friendships ourselves.
But where do we look?
Is it too obvious to say “Jesus”? Really, though, Jesus did give us a great insight into what it meant to be a great friend. If we sing the song “Jesus is a friend of mine,” then we intrinsically know a little bit of what it takes to be an amazing friend, because, as that weird ′70s (or-possibly-’80s) song says, “I have a friend in Jesus.”
First off, we can’t think that we are above these friends that we are chasing after. Not only are we supposed to be humble and put their needs before ours, but Jesus wasn’t ashamed to be our friend. Hebrews tells us that He isn’t ashamed to call us brothers and sisters, and if the Creator of the universe isn’t ashamed to call us brothers and sisters, then we can’t see ourselves as anything more than our friends.
If you want to be a great friend to someone, don’t view them as lower than yourself. You must listen intently and be present – like, actually present. Not reading, not snapping, not scrolling through whatever social media you want to use, but be present and attentive.
Most importantly, you need to sacrifice to be a good friend. In fact, “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus says those words in John 15:13, and those should be our guiding principles to being real friends.
Short of taking a bullet for your buddy, you can sacrifice time for them. You can sacrifice five dollars to bring them a frappuccino (or three dollars during Frappy hour). You can sacrifice a day off to cry with them. You can sacrifice your free evenings to build into them as they try to navigate the ins and outs of their walk with Jesus.
If we want real friends, we have to start being real friends. If we crave deep relationships, there’s no doubt in my mind that our friends are, too. Here’s to real friends.