The Importance of Friends
By: Ansley Taylor

Do you have that person who just gets you? The friend who you can laugh with until you can’t breathe, the one who you can talk to until 3 am, the person who knows you better than anyone else? Or most importantly, do you have a friend who has all of those qualities but also and encourages you, loves you, speaks truth to you and prays for you?  Today I’m going to share about the importance of having good friends, and how to choose friends wisely. One of my favorite examples of friendship in the bible is Jonathan and David. (If you want to read more about them read the book of 1 Samuel) David actually says that he loved Johnathan Loved him as his own soul! Throughout the story of 1st Samuel, time after time they had each other’s backs. They truly loved each other and protected each other. Johnathan and David portray how beautiful friendships can be, and the bible is full of examples of how important it is to choose friends wisely.

When I was younger, I didn’t always have the best experiences with friends. I was in very toxic friendships. I have been left out, lied to, and have been treated pretty badly. I know how much hurt to be left out. I have felt all of the feelings of rejection and not fitting in. In Jr high, I remember I was feeling so lonely and broken. I felt like there was no way out of these friendships. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus at the time but I just cried out to him and asked him to bring good friends in my life. During that time, God really answered my prayers. He removed those friends and now he has answered my prayers and brought the most wonderful people into my life and I am so thankful!  He is so kind and faithful to us. He has also helped me forgive the people who hurt me and helped me apologize for the things I had done to hurt others.

 Loneliness is hard, but it is better to face loneliness with Jesus for a season than to have friends who drag you down. When I lost all of my friends, I realized the best friend you could ever have is Jesus. Jesus values and loves you more than you can ever imagine.

   We weren’t made to live life alone, God wants us to have friends and a community of people to share life with and learn more about him.  When we stumble, our community build us up and help us grow. Community and friends keep us rooted in truth. Jesus’s life was full of friendships and I think it is so important to have good friends in your life. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says” bad company ruins good morals” it is so important to surround yourself with people who push you to be better, who encourage you and make good decisions and ultimately push you to Jesus.  It is important to guard your heart and respect yourself and know that you deserve friends who treat you and love you like Jesus does. Friends influence your behavior, decisions, attitude. If you want to have good friends, it is important to become the person you want to be friends with. If a friend is constantly making fun of you, encouraging you to make bad decisions and gossiping about you, it isn’t a friendship that is bringing you closer to God or helping you be the best version of you. I am blessed to have amazing friends and mentors in my life and they have been such an encouragement to me.  My friends have helped me through some rough times and have made me feel so loved when I have felt unworthy or discouraged. In high school, it can be hard to find those friends. It can be easy to feel alone and like no one gets you. I have closed my heart off after being hurt so much, but Jesus has brought so much healing to me through him and people he has placed in my life and allowed me to open up again. I am not the perfect friend and I never will be. Jesus is the perfect friend and has shown beautiful examples of how to be a friend, and how to choose those friends. Here are some important qualities that I look for in friends and things I try to be.

  1. Loves Jesus and Pushes you closer to him. Before I share this one, as Christians it is SO important to be friends with all different kinds of people. We can’t live in our Christian bubbles and only be friends with people at church, we are called to be lights and be friends to those who don’t know Jesus.  With that said, it is so important to also have friends who are following Jesus. For me, I need people in my life who can pray for me, share biblical truth with me and pour into me and love me the way Jesus loves. I feel like to be the best friend you be, you need to put Jesus first and when he is your best friend, then you can show that love he shows us to your friends.
  2. Has a forgiving heart.  We all mess up. None of us deserve grace, having a friend who will love and forgive you is so important. A friend that shows grace truly reflects the heart and love of Jesus.
  3. Honesty. Having friends who share the truth with you even when it hurts are the friends who genuinely love you and want you to be the best version of yourself you can be. In hard times, friends who share the biblical truth to you are awesome and so important.
  4. Trustworthy.You have to have to friends you can be real with and talk about hard things. It is never fun to find out that someone who you thought you trusted lies about you or spreads rumors. Find people who you can trust and feel comfortable being yourself with, and ones who care about your life and are consistent with the good and the bad. Some other qualities are friends who love to be weird and laugh with, genuine, willingness to grow, shared interests, same core values, supportive and fun.  Those are just a few of the many qualities to look for in a friend. Jesus has helped me learn to be a friend and continues to help me love others the way he does. I want to always learn and become the best friend I can be.  To all of my friends from tribes, theatre, school, mentors and my family reading this: thank you for loving me and being so great. I love you guys.

To anyone who feels alone: You are not alone, I know it can feel that way but keep praying for Godly friends they will come. Jesus hears you and I promise they will be better than you can imagine. Don’t give up. You are loved by the one who calls you his friend. To anyone who has been hurt: Jesus wants to heal your heart. It takes time and trust but I promise he will. It is so important to forgive those who hurt you and learn from the pain. Don’t close off, connect to a new healthy community. You deserve to be loved.

” A sweet Friendship refreshes the soul” Proverbs 27:9”

Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17”

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the ways of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

” A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

1 Samuel 18: 1-3 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6

” I have never called you servants; because a master doesn’t confide in his servants… but I call you my most intimate friends.” John 15:15