You may not feel it today, but relationships are worth the risk. Today, we wrap up our 5-day journey into how you and I navigate friendships. Yes, in spite of the pitfalls, relationships are, indeed, worth the risk. Still, risk-taking doesn’t mean indiscriminate bonding. Risk should be cloaked in wisdom (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15–17
Before Paul closes his letter, he informs Timothy of those with him who send their greetings (2 Timothy 4: 21). That seems odd. Where were these individuals in Paul’s dire moments? How does he possess a courageous vulnerability to trust again when so many let him down when he needed them most? We can’t know for sure, but Paul shows he understood some relationships were worth the risk.
He embraces the biblical warning against a haphazard seeking of companionship (Proverbs 13:20). Though he might be lonely, there were a select few on the shortlist worth the risk of disappointment or abandonment. This is oh so important to note. You and I cannot hope to escape all the ills in relating with others, but we can circumvent toxic relationship trauma using discretion when filling our social calendars.
What should we look for in a friend?
Some people leave you better for being with them.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
This is your tribe. Look for those who are reliable (Proverbs 18:24), who are supportive of your joys, and loyal in your defeats. Pursue women who encourage you as a person (Amos 3:3). Yes. There are people like this who will love you.
Be sure to pray about who God will send. And when you find yourself in social settings, get off your phone. Instead, ask questions like, How did you come to be in this group, or What does your family do on X holiday? Ask about a favorite quick recipe or how they survived Covid.
Asking questions of people shows you value them, and it allows you an opportunity to learn more and determine if this is a relationship to pursue. Let this experience embolden your faith to believe God for your good in relating with other people.
The Take Away on Friendship
Building adult friendships requires courage. Just start with what you know by remaining close to Jesus. That hunger for relationship is God’s idea. He is working His plan for your good. There are people out there who need what you offer. Trust God to equip you and aim your efforts toward what endures and then ask Him for the grace to become the friend you need.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
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