This post is an excerpt from a guest post by Joanna Teigen on “The Whatever Girls” blog. To read the full post, including key questions to ask yourself about your friends, click here.
God loves you and never wants you to walk through life alone. The Bible has plenty to say about friendship. Friends encourage us when we’re down, help us through our struggles and share the best times of our lives.
Yet, sometimes, it’s hard to tell if someone is a true friend. It takes wisdom to recognize a positive relationship that builds you up instead of tearing you down. Ask yourself these six questions to discover if your friendships are all they’re meant to be:
1. Is she a giver or a taker? Friends are there for each other and put each other first.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
2. Does she use you or value you? A good friend makes you feel important just because you’re you. They respect you and don’t take you for granted.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
3. Does she control you or let you be yourself? Your friend doesn’t have authority over your life. She’s not your parent, teacher, boss or God. It’s not your job to keep her happy or meet all her needs.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
4. Is she obedient or rebellious? If your friend has issues with authority, she’s going to struggle to respect you, too. She’ll influence you to disobey your parents and teachers, and she could hurt your reputation.
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)
5. Does she forgive or hold a grudge? A true friend doesn’t expect you to be perfect. She’ll give you room to make mistakes and second chances if you let her down.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
6. Does she criticize you or accept you as you are? Friends should celebrate their unique interests, goals, and personalities. You shouldn’t have to change to be appreciated.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
Friends can be one of our greatest gifts from God. Any relationship that hurts your confidence, emotions, faith, values, or safety needs a second look. Pray for courage to step away from anyone who keeps you from following God with all your heart. And praise God for any friend who loves you for the beautiful person he created you to be!…