The "Be a Good Friend" Challenge
It's important to have a biblical understanding of friendship. It's critical to understand that friendship is an opportunity to love and serve others rather than having others love and serve you. But it doesn't mean much if you don't put that truth into practice.
So I'm offering this challenge. Think of one thing you can do this week to reach out to a friend in need or befriend someone who needs it. Be specific. Who needs your love, attention, advice, or shoulder to cry on? What specific step will you take to demonstrate that you're more concerned with being a friend to that individual than having the right friends or a lot of friends?
Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Is there a widow in your church who is lonely? Why not make a date to go out for coffee with her? People your grandma's age might not fit your typical friendship profile, but we're not talking about typical friendship here!
- Is it the first week of school where you live? Is there someone new or strange whom you've seen sitting alone in the lunchroom? Park your lunch tray next to her, and strike up a conversation.
- Can you think of a girl whom you used to be great friends with in elementary or junior high but you've since dropped from your "it" list? Reach out to her. Make plans to spend time with her away from the rest of your friend group or invite her to join your group of friends for an outing.
These are just a few ideas. If you want to ease into this friendship transformation, you can take some less dramatic steps. Write a note to someone who is down. Send a flower to someone who seems frustrated during a difficult time in their lives even if they haven't been kind to you. Reach out to someone older or younger than you.
And if you've got a great story about how reaching out to others turned out to bless you, share it with others!