One of the greatest and deepest needs we have as human beings is friendship. We all long for someone who knows, loves, and accepts us—someone who understands our wants, needs, hurts, and fears.
The Book of Proverbs is full of wisdom for making friends forever, and how to first be the friend we all need.
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
There are certain marks of true friendship.
A friend is someone who shares his or her strengths, blessings, and hope; a friend will share in hard times and in celebration; a friend loves at all times.
A true friend is also someone who sharpens; Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” A good friend is the sharp edge of our lives, who encourages, challenges, and confronts us when necessary; true friends make us better people.
And a friend is someone who sticks; Proverbs 28:14 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
There are some important things to remember when making friends:
We make friends by being friends; it is wise to remember that people want to be accepted, acknowledged and appreciated. We need to pay attention to people, become great listeners, and find something to compliment.
People also want to be affirmed and assured; in this negative world, the most beautiful thing we can do is empathize with one another.
When we build friendships, we must remember to maintain them. Adrian Rogers says, “You can have a lot of acquaintances, but genuine friends are costly. They cost time and effort; there is an investment; don’t have more friends than you can show yourself friendly to.”
Finally, we must remember the ministry of a friendship. There are lost people in this world who need the love and friendship of Jesus Christ; as His Body, we have the responsibility of loving as He loved.
Are you in the ministry of making friends? If you are a leader, set the tone and the atmosphere; be approachable and real.
As a church member, learn how to greet people, and remember to be warm and welcoming to the people the Lord brings in.