"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
“He bit me”, “she pinched me”, “he lied”, “she screamed”, and “she did it first” are most likely all statements you would probably hear if you walked into a room filled with little children. They may all be the best of friends but the hurt feelings, crocodile tears and sounds of feet stomping off seem to be expected. I would argue that this doesn’t only exist In the preschool room though. It also exists in the lives of us adults.
We have expectations that we crave and want from relationships and when they don’t turn out the way that we had hoped, the finger-pointing begins. Though we may not be physically pointing fingers, in our minds we have convinced ourselves that if this friend had responded or behaved differently the outcome would have maybe been more hopeful.
But why does it take us so long to look in the mirror at our behaviors? We become so busy looking for ways that others should improve that somewhere along the way we forgot that a relationship consists of two people and quite frankly, we can only control the attitude and actions of one of those two people –ourselves.
So, what kind of friendships do you want? Stop and think about that for a minute. We have seen over the past few weeks that as Christians, there is purpose in our friendships. These people hold us accountable and point us to Christ. They tell us the hard things that maybe we don’t want to hear, but they do it because there is a purpose there.
They show up –over and over again they show up. Maybe it’s with a chocolate cake or maybe it’s with a box of Kleenex, but either way, they show up. They pray for you and spur you on down the path that God has placed you on. They hold you accountable while also offering affirmation. They know you, get you, and love you for who you are, but yet they still keep raising the bar because they believe in you and see potential in you that maybe you can’t even see in yourself.
These are the types of friendships that we are in need of –maybe we already have them or maybe we are still searching. But in this process, I want to ask you one question...
WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU?
Use this question to examine yourself! Are you pointing fingers at what others may or may not be doing or are you looking in the mirror to reflect on how you can be a better asset to the lives of the people around you? It’s not about what others are doing to us –it’s about what we are doing because again, that’s really all we can control.
Be the friend to others that you long for someone to be to you –without excuse and without exception. The most effective way to improve your current and future relationships is to truly look in the mirror at yourself. Ask God to show you how you can honor Him through your friendships. Follow His example and love others because of your love for Him. And be willing to treat others, not as you think they should be treated but instead how God wants them to be treated.
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