Today was an interesting day. I woke up and was not in the mood to talk, eat, nor exercise. If I can be transparent, I did not feel like praying nor reading my morning devotional either, but guess what? I pushed passed my feelings and did what I needed to do anyhow.
After praying, reading my word, talking to my husband, exercising, showering, doing homework, reaching out to one of my prayer warrior sisters, and flowing with the motions….. I still was not in the mood to do anything. In the middle of writing an essay I had to stop because I could not focus. I went downstairs, sat on the couch, turned on my intercessory prayer music, laid before God and BOOM. He started speaking to my heart. He started showing me different things about Christian friendships, and how His heart aches because of them.
This blog will not suit many nor will it be pleasing to man. However, there will be a few who benefit from it, and receive instruction from the Lord.
“When God speaks – I write”Terran Z. Brodie
As God was speaking to my heart in regard to friendships I became very emotional and full of a lot of heartache. It was as if my heart was being torn into two pieces slowly. Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart in that moment and what He said will be below.
“I am going to start dealing with friendships. I am going to deal with the sister-ships, brother-ships, and bestfriend titles. My children do not know how to be friends to one another. They are praying for spouses, connections with jobs, connections to people, children, fame, more influence, more more more… Yet, they do not know how to be a friend. They do not know how to lend a helping hand to their “friend”, but are comfortable lending hands to strangers to say they helped a stranger. Their motives and intentions are impure. They are speaking negatively about one another while misusing, abusing, and slandering each others names. They are taking each other for granted. They are not being authentic with one another. They are mistreating one another because they lack understanding. They are rejecting one another because they lack trust and guidance. They are conforming to the ways of the world because they lack knowledge of my word. My word is not hidden in their hearts. I am not present in their friendships. They are not praying with each other, and they have acquiesced to the worldly definition of what a friend is, leaving no room for Me to move. I am going to deal with how my children treat one another.”Holy Spirit
After Holy Spirit spoke, I wept. I wailed. I sat in silence, I repented, I cried some more, I poured out my heart and then I began to write. He led me to many scriptures and began to speak to my heart. I first want to define what a friend, friendship, and relationship is.
According to Webster dictionary, a friend is “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond.” Friendship is “a relationship between friends,” and a relationship “is the way in which two or more people or groups regard and behave toward each other.” In other words, in order to build a relationship/bond with someone you must know how to be a friend first.
I had to relearn how to be a friend when I rededicated my life to Christ because my thoughts were simply not the Lords thoughts nor were my ways His ways. He had to realign me with His word, and had to break me a few times in order for me to learn my lesson. Speaking on the topic of friends/friendships is sensitive for me because this is the area God speaks to me the most. A lot of my adulthood pain and heartache stems from the lack of having true and authentic friends in my corner. Before my encounter with God in regards to this, I would always ask Him how can people who say they love you, have your spirit embedded in them, and serve you treat me this way? Disclaimer: The Lord already revealed to me why He deals with me in this way, so know that I am not expressing these feelings to receive pity, but to show you how my Father works. It seems as though, I am always being paired with females who are going to stab me in the back later, cause discord, have jealous tendencies, reject me, or not care to build a solid friendship; settle for the “hey, praying all is well with you sis. Talk to you in the next few months” type of thing. Do I like those types of relationships? Not really. Am I moved by them? The only place I move to is on my knees to pray to my Father. Is it annoying? Very much so. However, God always reminds me that He calls me His friend. He also reminds me to continue being my loving, caring, sweet, fruit of the spirit having self, even when I am not accepted nor desired by the people in this world. So, I know for a fact that I am loved! No doubt about that!
Guess what though… If you are anything like me, you are a friend of God as well! You are loved by Christ, and there are a plethora of scriptures that can prove it. I will share one of my favorites though, John 15:15 ESV “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Below will be a few strategic steps I received from God on how to become a Godly friend in a Christian Friendship.
How To become a Godly Friend in a Platonic Christian Relationship
Step 1: Allow the Refiner to refine you. The word refine means to remove impurities. He has to refine you in order for you to perceive people through His lens, and not your distorted lenses. Also, during this allow Him to gut out all of your worldly thoughts towards friendships/relationships. Let Him redefine those terms for you.
Step 2: Be authentic in His Presence. The word of God says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” John 4:24 NKJV. Worship is not only about singing melodiously in the presence of the Lord, but it is about living righteously, and maintaining your purity in Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8 NKJV. Within this step is where vulnerability will be exercised and utilized. You will have to open up to the Father like never before.
Step 3: Read and study the word of God. In the word of God it says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children” Hosea 4:6 NIV. Could you imagine God saying since you do not know me, I refuse to recognize you as my friend? I refuse to recognize you as my son? I refuse to recognize you as my daughter? I refuse to recognize you…. My God. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV.
Step 4: Continuously pray, intercede, and contend for your freedom/newness in Christ. When I say contend for your freedom, I am not implying that you have to fight in order to earn anything because our Lord and savior Jesus Christ already paid the price, so that we may have liberty and “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV. However, I am implying that we must contend because we have an adversary by the name of satan, roaming around like a roaring lion seeking for who he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). The battle was already won, but there will be minor battles that we have to fight in order for us to grow into the people God has called us to be.
Step 5: Sow your time, kindness, and love with a gracious and cheerful heart. “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NKJV. I know many pastors and teachers quote this scripture when it is offering time, but Holy Spirit told me that sowing is not always about money. He said we can sow our time, tears, love, kindness, joy, etc., and still reap God’s goodness. On the other hand, if we sow discord, hatred, unforgiveness, negativity, bad attitude, etc., that is what we will reap because we reap what we sow.
Now, I leave you to ponder on this question. What steps are you going to implement in order to become a better friend in your relationships?
Word of Encouragement
I encourage you all to forgive, affirm, respect, trust, be authentic/real, celebrate, show kindness, grant grace, and have patience with your friends. If you cannot do that then they do not need to be your friend, sister, bestfriend, brother, etc., You will need to have that tough, but liberating conversation with them. It is imperative for us to know where we stand in each others lives. If you know that you have grown out of that friendship, then be respectful and modest while communicating your hearts sentiments to that friend. Also, I encourage you to leave room for your friends to make mistakes. We are human, and sometimes we can get beside ourselves. However, that is where God’s grace and forgiveness comes into the equation. Lastly, I encourage you to pray WITH your friends, and actively listen to them. Do not listen to respond or to give advice, but to help them realize their strengths. Notice I said pray WITH and not FOR your friend though. There is a huge difference between praying for someone and praying with them. By praying with your friend you are basically telling them that you agree with whatever they are believing God for. Simultaneously, allowing them to have a voice. However, praying FOR your friend puts them behind your thoughts on their issue; limiting their voice. We must push our friends to be the best versions of themselves, even when it is uncomfortable for them. (read that again if you need to).
One last thing, if you are a Christian please know that you cannot think, treat, nor operate your friendships how those in the world navigate through them. An example of this would be knowing that your friend texted you, and instead of responding back to them you leave them on read. Yet, you are on social media, scrolling – leaving comments on other peoples posts, and loving pictures. Your friend realizes that – confronts you about it – your response is, sorry, I was busy (were you really?)- and your friend tells you how they did not appreciate that. You respond with “I can be on social media and not text you back. I am not obligated to respond to you right away or something of that sort”, and now your friend is feeling some type of way. I am not supporting the whole text back immediately narrative because even I struggle with that, but at least be honest and communicate with your friends that you are not in the mood to text, you are not in the mood to talk that day, or you only have time to be on social media and not text (someone said that to me once lol). But please do not just ignore their text messages because that is rude.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” Romans 12:2 NKJV.
Thank you all for reading.
I know it was a lot, but I had to be obedient. I pray this blesses whomever needs it, and that your friendships including mine will be in alignment with Christ!
If you are led to share this blog post, when you do if you can please share it with the caption “Are you a Godly friend?” that will greatly be appreciated. Thank you once more for reading.
Love Terran Z. Brodie