How amazing are friends?
Itreally struck me over these past few weeks just how immensely grateful I am for the friends that God has placed in my life. They have been so instrumental in helping me to become who I am today, and over the past few months I have been reminded again and again just how much they mean to me.
Deep heart and soul connection
While all friendsare great, not all friendships are created equal. I don’t say that to be mean or exclusive, but to emphasise that there is a certain kind of friendship that is sacred and holy, a friendship that is good for your soul.
I’m not talking about surface-level friends, those who catch up for coffee once in a while, who see each other at mutual gatherings, or who swap notes once a week on what’s happened on their favourite tv show.
I’m talking about friends with a deep heart and soul connection. I’m talking about friends who tell each other everything, who encourage each other with kind words and challenge each other with hard words. I’m talking about friends who weep together and who rejoice together.
I’m talking about friends who have no judgement, and who you tell your deepest darkest secrets in the knowledge that they’ll still love you and journey with you. I’m talking about friends that help you to be the best version of yourself, the person that God designed you to be.
Is there anything sweeter in this world than friendships like this?
I pray that you know exactly what I’m talking about because you have friends like this too. These friends are precious. They are absolute treasures, blessings from heaven above, and they should not be taken for granted.
Created for community
The beautiful thing about thesefriendships is that this is exactly how God designed it to be. We are not meant to do life alone. God has created us for community, and this is the way of Jesus, the way of the Kingdom.
I’m an off-the-chart extrovert and so I do have some bias when it comes to believing in the importance of friendships, but even the biggest introverts need close and Godly friends.
There are so many examples of great friendships in the Bible –David and Jonathan, Moses and Aaron, Naomi and Ruth.
The story of David and Jonathan’s friendship in 1 Samuel chapter 18 is particularly beautiful, with a deep emotional bond, fierce loyalty, and personal sacrifices made for the other. To read through their friendship and journey is so profound – oh, what a blessing to have a friendship like theirs!
Three reasons good friends are good for the soul
There are countless reasons that these Godly friendships are good for our souls.
Friends are great for holding you accountable. Whenthere is a close friendship, there are no qualms in calling you out and telling you when you’re being selfish, when you’re overreacting,when you’ve picked up a bad behaviour or stopped doing a good one, or if you’re simply just acting completely out of line.
The beauty of this is that there is a mutual understanding that these rebukes and challenges are because they have your best interests at heart, and they want you to be the best person you can be.
Friends can also pray for you when you can’t pray for yourself. Over the years, I’ve had seasons of doubt, seasons of anxiety and depression, and seasons of downright anger with God.
In these seasons, it’s often hard to get on my knees and bring my requests to God, even though I know in my head that that’s exactly what I should do. This is where good friends can come in and bring the cries of your heart to God on your behalf, where you can’t yourself.
Finally, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to put on a mask and hold it in when you’re having a horrific season, just out of courtesy for the other people around you. But good friends can weep with you when you’re weeping.
There are no formalities or niceties in a friendship like this, but we can be our vulnerable and true selves with each other, whether that means weeping when times are bad, or rejoicing when times are good.
Share the love
If this rings true for you and you have friends like this, share the love with them and let them know how dearly you appreciate them. But if this has caused a pang in your heart because you don’t have any friends like this in this season, perhaps pray to God to bring some Godly friends into your life.
Because everyone deserves a friend that is truly good for your soul.
Rebecca Howan is from Wellington, New Zealand, where she works as an ExecutiveAssistant in the humanitarian sector. She worships and serves at The Salvation Army, and is passionate about music, travelling the world and building community.
You can read Rebecca’s previous columns at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rebecca-howan.html