Summary: The cost of friendship is nothing compared to the cost of not loving, a life of empty loneliness.
It is no doubt that everyone needs friends but when you are young, friends can have more Influence over how you dress, act, think, etc. than your parents do. It has generally been said “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. If friends play such an important role in shaping especially the lives of youth, the question that remains is, who then should be your friend? And to what extend should your life be influenced or shaped by their opinion?
In no way is this an exhaustive treatment of the subject of making friends but it is intended to give you an opportunity to explore further on some of the implications of friends.
Many of us find it very difficult looking for whom can be a real or true friend. Even those who are good at making friends need to be intentional in making real friends and know the secret of making true friends. A proverb says “a friend loves at times and becomes a brother in times of trouble’. Proverb 17:17. There is more to friendship than having a shoulder to cry on. Friends must correct others even when it hurts. When a real friend sees you going on a bad way, he/she will try to warn you before it is too late. Even if he knows you may not like what he/she says.
Would you allow a bruised ego to cause you to reject someone who has cared enough about you to tell you the truth? Proverbs 27:6 says “ there is more trust to t^ put in bruises from one who loves than in effusive kisses from one who hates’ A person who thinks straight and talks straight is the kind of person you need as a friend.
a) Counterfeit versus real friends
Not all friends bring out your best or are good friends. Many youths learn things from friends like, stealing, smoking, drug, sex, etc. Once the influence of counterfeit friends has caused you to form certain habits it becomes difficult to give up or break the habits. And sometimes the tendency is to continue to struggle and pray after we fail. Often It would help if we pray before hand asking God for strength when you feel the urge to do evil Proverbs 13:20 says He that is walking with a wise persons will become wise but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly. If you keep friends with those who love God, you can avoid some of the ugly things in your life.
b) Finding real friends:
Where can you find friends who love God? Within the family of God. Look for youth that not only make a profession of faith but also have works to back their faith and devotion James 2:26 .If such youths are difficult to find, get some Christians who are older than you.
Age need not be a barrier to friendship.
How to get friendship started.
1) Have an active interest in others:
Jesus built friendships that were so strong that His true friends were ultimately willing to die for Him. He always wanted to be involved Matt 8:3. Having an interest in others is the first step in making friends. Knowing the person’s name is a way of showing interest, sharing a meal together assisting someone with a need can serve to deepen a friendship.
2) How you listen. Jesus words in Luke 6:16 calls upon us to pay attention on how we listen. Though it refers to listening to the word of God, it provides us with a principle that applies well in developing relationships. Being a good listener is vital in building friendship. It may require keeping an eye on the interest of others. Leaning toward the person, agreeing with the person, asking questions, etc.
3) Be loyal John 13:1. The main quality of a friend is his loyalty. Being able to stick with you
When times get rough. Being able to defend or stand by your friend even when others say belittling things Proverb 18: 24.
4) Share your feelings. Jesus related with others by revealing His deepest feelings. He let it be known that He” felt pity’ felt love” or was deeply grieved Matt 9:36. 26:38, Mark 10:21. John 11:35. In one Instance He cried. This does not mean you pour out your emotions to everyone you meet but you can be honest with everyone, and as you get to know and trust someone, you can gradually reveal empathy. ‘ Fellow feelings ‘ for others is essential for meaningful friendship 1 Peter 3:8.
5) Do not expect perfection. Even when a friendship is off to a good start, don’t expect perfection because we make mistakes in all kinds of things. James 3:2.