Friendship is one of the greatest blessings God gives us. Think about the friends you have and the fun times you have with them. Think about how you can trust them with anything. Think about the times you laugh or even cry in front of them. Think about how some friends feel just like family. Think about how they love you and want the best for you, no matter what. Most importantly, think about how they want to help make sure you get to Heaven.
This is a true friend, and a Christian friend at that. Are you thinking of a friend like this? I personally am blessed to be able to answer that question with a big Y-E-S. It’s so important to have friends that are Christians because we can help to uplift and encourage each other. And of course we can have fun with our Christian friends! (1 Cor. 12:12-27)
Many people think that once you become a Christian, you can’t have any fun and that is absolutely not true. I became a Christian in college and then spent the majority of my time hanging out with friends from the Student Bible Center. I made some friends then that are still my very closest friends today. We would play games like NERTZ, dress up as silly characters on Halloween, be Salty Messengers, go fishing in the dark, be an exclusive member of SOTOG, and lots of other random stuff. Though you might not know what a Salty Messenger is, I tell you all of that to let you know how much fun you can have and how many memories you can create with your Christian friends.
God knows the importance of having others you can rely on, as he said “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Gen. 2:18) He knows that we need others to share with and laugh with – he created us! Being a part of a family of Christians gives us access to all kinds of people who will be true friends.
For the record, there is nothing wrong with being friends with people who are not Christians, and they are perfectly capable of loving you and having fun with you. But you might ask yourself if you feel comfortable acting like a Christian around them (1Cor. 15:33). Choosing to spend the majority of your time with Christian friends will help you stay true to your faith.
While it’s important to become close friends with other Christians, it’s equally important that we concentrate on being a true friend to others. When you really get to know someone, you’ll know their likes and dislikes. You’ll know what they care about and what makes them happy. You can surprise them with a kind thought or kind words. When you make the effort to get to know people, you will be better able to be a true friend to them and through that, serve God.
Everyone needs someone they can call a friend. Barnabas is a biblical example of a true friend and encourager to all those around him. As a matter of fact, the very name Barnabas means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). We all have opportunities to be a true friend and build one another up. I hope we all strive to imitate Barnabas and be known as daughters of encouragement!