Do you say yes to your friends?
We were created for fellowship, first with God then with others. But, we all knew that, right? I, as a part time introvert, am known for avoiding gatherings. It is true. When I first RSVP, I am excited. Then, as the day draws near, I start coming up with reasons why I should not attend the event. Seriously, I do that. Pitiful? Maybe. Yet, I want my word to matter, and go in spite of my desire to stay home in my comfy pajamas. Not once have I regretted time spent with a friend, whether in a quiet gathering or in a spirited gathering. As I have gotten older, I have fewer close friends. But, those friends matter deeply to me. Saying yes to time with them is always a worthy yes.
The importance of friends
The role of friends in our lives changes as we grow older. When I was younger, friends provided entertainment, someone to play and create with. My friends typically shared common interests. As a gymnast, the majority of my friends were other gymnasts. When I began playing sports at school, my friends were fellow athletes. As an active member in youth group and FCA, my closest friends could be found there as well. I recall my dad not allowing me to go to the movies with some people. His reason? “They are not good people, you are not going.” He helped me understand how my friends would influence me, and that I needed to choose my friends wisely.
You become who you surround yourself with
You are most like the five people you spend the most time with. Are you unhappy with your current circumstances? Who are the people you are spending time with? If we spend time with people who speak life, whose words are blessings to others, we will do the same. During our rehearsal dinner, my father gave a beautiful speech. He shared, “Look around the room. This room is filled with incredible people who have chosen to be friends with Andy and Michelle. They are in good hands because of the people they are surrounded by. Parents, if you do nothing else, know who your children are spending time with because it will make all the difference.”
Invest in one another
Yes, I am sometimes a bad friend. I do not call, text, or check in. However, I also love my friends fiercely and am protective of them. I am learning setting aside my own agenda (ie: a lazy night in pajama pants) to sit down with a friend is an incredible investment. My friends make me better. They ask me hard questions, and they hold me accountable. My friends encourage me and cheer for me. They bring laughter and fun into my life in ways I would never know otherwise. Am I thankful for my friends? Every single day.
My challenge to you is to call up a friend and schedule a time to meet. Grab some coffee, go for a hike, go shopping, whatever you enjoy doing. Be intentional and spend time with one another, to spur one another on in brotherly love.