Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago
There are many reasons to open up for the possibility of friendship. I believe true friendship is something that is very rare and if one is to truly encounter it in their life’s journey, it must truly be a gift from the Lord. It has been my experience that such relationships are not only few, but something I’ve learned to live without since childhood. We go through our childhood years listening to such phrases as best friend and buddies, but even in our early stages in life, we can experience that true friendships are rare.
It is sad to see that many times, even as adults, people will come near only because they’re trying to find out more about you for all the wrong reasons. There are persons in our lives that are always seeking how to discredit or break our character. Their mission in life, at least for a season, is how to make someone look bad, how to get someone into an uncomfortable situation, and how to belittle the person so that their life is full of unnecessary drama. There are also persons that come into our lives, or I’ll say that God allows them to appear on the scene, to test our faith and our trust in the Lord.
As Christians, we profess agape love for all people, even if we don’t know them. Yet, the moment someone shows their true colors, hurts us, and begins to make our day a struggle, the love in our hearts seems to quickly evaporate and we don’t want to tolerate anyone. It is easier to get angry and even allow our hearts to easily gravitate towards hateful feelings when we are scorned, hurt and the object of someone’s ridicule. It is difficult to have persons like this in our lives who do so behind your back and then in your presence even tell you they’re praying for you. They call themselves your friend but they are only a shadow passing through this moment in your life so that God can bring out all the junk that is still lingering inside of us. We need to truly love people, even those fake friends or personalities in our daily lives that are a thorn on our side. We need to pray so that the Lord will open our eyes to see them for who they are and who is truly behind the scenes in their lives.
The enemy of our souls is a master puppeteer looking for miserable people who allow their hearts and their minds to be easily filled with jealousy, bitterness, and hatred. He looks for hearts that are never happy, someone that is not satisfied with their life and always not only wants more, but desires, craves and lusts for what someone else has- just because. And, then if they’re able to take it away, they chew it up, spit it out and walk away to befriend another person whom they can destroy.
I’ve learned through experiences that we have to cover and guard our hearts and our homes. I’ve always been someone to easily want to help everyone and many times I didn’t see people that were pretending to be my friend but were really more interested in how to bring harm to my family, my marriage and my career. I had to go through some rough patches in order to learn how to listen to the Lord and be mindful when the Spirit of God is making something clear and speaking into my heart in regards to my plans and my company. We may want to counsel and love everyone, but we need to do so prayerfully and always covering our marriage, covering our children and covering that special place that God has given us to call our home. Many will pretend to even want to walk in the ways of the Lord, but the moment you draw the boundary lines, they disappear and all you can do is pray for them as they walk away and out of your life.
This is not a bad thing, but it is a sad thing to experience because we want to share Christ in every possible way and many times we are truly misunderstood. A man may think you are seeking to have some kind of affair with him, or visa versa. A person may think you’re an easy push over and looks for ways to take advantage of you and throws all of their problems on you. Others may try to make you feel guilty for not helping them more, like, “If you’re a Christian and a true friend, then why don’t you lend me more money or let me stay in your home?”
We are challenged in our status as friend and it is so hard. For this reason, I believe that the few, very small amount of persons in my life that I consider true friends, are truly truly heaven sent. Some of these persons I rarely see. But, I can connect with them and there is a bond that I know it has been that God has taken the time to place these people in my life for an eternal purpose. Others, we are connected through social media and sometimes talk on the phone. But, our connection is grounded completely in the seeking of the Lord and our purpose is and continues to be to encourage, motivate, and be there for one another. We come together to pray and to worship the Lord. We are there to pray for our families and friends and we help one another through hard times. These are the persons I call friends. They are not interested in wanting to be like me. They are not unsure in who they are and they are not afraid to be themselves around me. They embrace me with all I am and all I am not and can never be. I am not afraid to speak in their company because God has shown me they are genuine in their walk with Him and because of their love for Him, they do their best to be real in our relationship as well.
Friends are great. Some are for a passing season in our lives. Others, very few, are for always. I am glad with just two or three who are the real deal. If you're in need of real friendship, pray that the Lord will send people into your life that will be a blessing. We also have the One and Only True Friend who sticks closer than a brother. The Lord Himself is a comfort and a helper in all times. He sees the need in your heart and He will hand select the persons you need in your life for this specific season you're going through. I pray that you never feel alone or abandoned, but that you wait upon the Lord and know that just because someone may not have "best friend" written on their forehead, it doesn't mean you can't have community with them. It's great to mingle and enjoy the company of others, just remember to guard your heart. Do not close the doors to people when you see their true colors, but give every moment in your life an opportunity to show God's love through your life. That person may just need a moment of your time and it may change them forever!
I pray that you are blessed in every way today and know God has great purpose for the relationships in your life. Yes, even friendships.