3 Things To Look For In A Friend
Today’s post comes from a fellow twenty something, Central team member, and my friend, Amy Poole. Last week, Amy shared 3 truths for surviving a “friend breakup.” Read it here. She also recently shared her journey of becoming who God made her to be. Check it out here. Brew your favorite cup of coffee and dive into some incredible truths on developing a healthy community of people to do life with…
Community. This medium sized word is jam packed with meaning far beyond what our minds often associate it with. With the mention of community, our minds can be drawn to think of our neighborhood growing up, maybe our high school team, or maybe even our church family. Whatever community means to you, it holds much more importance than we often associate it with. So, what is community?
Community is the group of people you are choosing to let into your life. Community is the group of people you will celebrate the new jobs, relationships, marriages, births and birthdays with. Community is the group of people who you will go to when you’ve had a tough day or season, when you are having trouble in your marriage, when you get sick, or when a loved one dies. A community is a group of people you invite to live life alongside you. Your community is your church, your small group, your family, your friends. So how do we make wise decisions in choosing who to let into our community?
1. Choose people who extend grace, not gossip. As obvious as this is, we often miss this by a mile. No, your community is not going to be perfect—it is not some sinless group from God where you will all hold hands, sing Kumbayah, and then have the most amazing Bible study where you talk about blessings all night long. Mainly because that would get incredibly dull (and a little Twilight Zone-ish) after the first week, but also because we are people. We are bound to make mistakes. Look for friends who look at you as a precious daughter/son of Christ, not friends who want to share your secrets with their barista. Tip: If they are gossiping to you, I can confirm without a single doubt they are gossiping about you. Look for people who are speaking positively about others, not just about others.
2. Choose people who are servant hearted, not self serving. Raise your hand if you’ve been in a one way friendship! We’ve all been there, and whether you want to admit it or not, you have that friendship in your life right now. Sometimes we let it go because we just don’t care about it at the moment, however there is going to come a time when you need someone. If you can imagine this person completely leaving you to fend for yourself, it’s time to start investing in a friendship elsewhere. Friendships are not for the self serving, they are for other serving.
3. Choose people who you have fun with, not who you are fake with. May I remind you of the Kumbayah, holding hands, creepy Bible study scenario above? Don’t get me wrong, study your Bible, but God wants you to experience Him in other ways alongside His word too. He wants you to experience Him through midnight talks and a fun day at Disneyland. He wants you to experience His joy through a long convertible ride with the top down and music blaring. Choose people who you actually enjoy spending time with, not who you feel obligated to see because you both love God.
We were designed for community. Why? Because ultimately our community should be pushing us closer to God.
Let’s make 2015 a year where we thrive in community! Not only because we choose grace extending, servant-hearted, fun people to spend our time with, but because we ARE those people.
Author: Emily B. Cummins
Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.