Friendships are a bigger challenge than ever before. In fact, most people say they only have 2 close friends, and many others would honestly say they have no one they’re close to. As a pastor, I have talked with hundreds of people who struggle with loneliness and know that this is a very serious issue with dire results.
Friendships are so important in our lives that it could be said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” But we’re poorly prepared to make and keep long-term relationships. Think about it, did you ever have a class in school on this vital topic?
It’s time to go PRO in our friendships. If you want to be a PRO friend, it takes three qualities:
Pro Friends are PRESENT. There is power in presence! In our constantly distracted day, the gift of presence is priceless. How many times have you seen a group of so-called “friends” who are all sitting in the same room, but they’re all pre-occupied with what’s happening on their phones than they are interested in each other. Your attention speaks volumes about your care for your friends. So put your phones down and get up in each other’s business.
Pro friends RESPECT each other. Any time you get two people together, you’re going to have two different opinions. A PRO friend will give the gift of honor, whether or not they agree about everything. In fact, if you both agree about everything, one of you isn’t necessary. Jesus’ disciple Peter wrote, “Respect EVERYONE.” (1 Peter 2:17)
Pro Friends are OPEN. No one needs a fake friend. A PRO friend will be real about what they think and feel. That means being honest about what you’re feeling, including your failures. In fact, our failures draw us together even more than our successes. Jesus’ half-brother James wrote, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed.” (James 5:16) When we get real with how we feel, then we can heal.
I hope that you will not only be a PRO friend, but that you will have many PRO friends. So, we’re going to invest the next few weeks drilling down on how to develop stronger and richer relationships. If you want to grow in your relationships, you’ll want to be with us this weekend as we kick off our new message series called, FRIEND ZONE. I know, I know. The real pop culture meaning of the term, “Friend Zone,” is a relationship where one person has unreturned romantic feelings for another person. But we’re going to redeem the phrase and use it to mean taking your friendships to the next level and winning with your relationships. And if you can’t be with us in person, you can always catch the messages on our website or on your Connection Church mobile app.