Friendships are one of the greatest assets in your life. If they are stewarded well, they can yield more harvest for you than anything else. The opposite is true when friendships are not taken care of. It is through your friends that you will learn the most about yourself relationally.
Here are 3 ways to become a better friend:
1. Examine all your failed friendships and see why things went sour.
“Its fine to celebrate success, but its more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
The best lessons learned are the ones that come from the moments in life where success is nowhere to be found. Failure has a plethora of effects on a person, and can sometimes be, in the right season, more valuable than success. Why? You not only learn what not to do the next time, but you also learn about a side of yourself that will prove to be invaluable for the future. I have a few friendships that did not pan out the way I desired for them too, but after examining what went wrong, it brought life to all of my future friendships.
2. Keep the 2 C’s close in hand – Communication & Confrontation.
Without conflict in friendships there aren’t any opportunities for growth. Many run out of fear of offense or being hurt when conflict arises….but those are the ripe moments in friendships. If you do not learn how to confront conflict in a friendship, then marriage is going to be a challenge for you. Healthy communication is key for a smooth “come to Jesus” talk. I call it that because Christ is our Cornerstone, so when there is a disagreement we need to meet in the Center and move from there. Do not try to have friendships without Christ because it will lack revelation to make it through the moments that matter most.
3. Become a glass house and make transparency a normal part of your life.
One of my weaknesses is trusting others with the deep intricate parts of me because of my fear of being viewed as weak. When you are a leader, you take on this superman mentality, living to save everyone, but easily forgetting about yourself. Transparency is the key that unlocks the door to a thriving, trustworthy covenant friendship. Allowing someone access into the parts of your life that even you are fearful of peering into is the beginning of shining the light on darkness. According to Ephesians 5:13, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.” This must be for every secret you have, and will ever have. Do not wait, expose it. Any secrets you carry are not just between you and yourself, but you, yourself, and the devil. This is why God brings friends into our lives that we can build a covenant agreement to walk with us during hard times, and challenge us to grow.
In a glass house, you can see everything from every angle. In our generation, especially with the rise of social media, we are caught up sharing the highlights of our lives. You can, without hesitation, hide behind the highlight moments of your day, but who is invited into the dark moments? The Bible states in Proverbs, 18:1:
“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.”
Do not isolate yourself in order to prevent having to tell friends the whole truth. That is a strong spirit that causes you to masquerade like everything is okay, when actually your life can be in complete turmoil. You hurt yourself, and hurt those around you because they need the real you. If you do not have anyone in your life you trust to share the dark things about yourself then pray for God to send you someone. Your spouse will be your best friend, but they should not be your only friend.