Find Your “Happy Few” – From Casual to Close
Key Bible Verse: Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – Romans 12:10.
Bonus Reading: John 13:34-35
Some people make friends easily. It’s harder for the rest of us. Most friendships begin casually and will stay that way, because they’re based on a few things you have in common (like where you work, where you live, or where you worship). But with some casual friends, you’ll sense similar commitments in faith, character, and integrity. You’ll intentionally start spending more time together. That’s how meaningful friendships begin: slowly.
Close friends appreciate each other’s similarities, but don’t allow each other’s differences to divide them. They encourage each other. Overcoming their natural inclinations to hold a grudge, they’re quick to forgive each other. Why? Because they firmly believe the other would never do anything to intentionally offend them, and because it interferes with the relationship.
Your casual friends will be around whenever they need you. But when the going gets tough, shallow friendships evaporate. Your closest friends will be around whenever you need them. Tough times strengthen a close friendship because the bond of commitment to each is revealed. Difficult circumstances usually give one friend the opportunity to act sacrificially for the sake of the other.
—Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz in Simple Matters
My Response: Someone I could benefit from spending more time with is …
Adapted from Simple Matters (Promise Press, 2001)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, I invite you to work in my life through a real friend. And please use me in his life as well.