How to Make and Keep Friends
Three practical tips from the Bible to help you love and appreciate others.
Friendships are important. Throughout the Bible we see this great truth brought to life. David and Jonathan were best friends, a relationship that was forged during a dangerous time in David’s life. “Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord’” (1 Samuel 20:42). God himself was called a friend of Abraham (Isaiah 41:8). And Exodus 33:11 tells us, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” Jesus told his followers (that’s us, too!): “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14).
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But the pace of modern life sometimes makes it hard to find time for these important relationships. How can you make and keep friends?
1. Examine the way people react to you.
Do strangers catch your eye and smile at you? Are people genuinely happy to see you? If you can answer yes to these two questions, it’s because you display that special glow that the Lord gives to people who sincerely love and appreciate others. If you don’t have this, you can get it!
2. Make the first move.
Go out of your way to show kindness. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). Get to know people whom you may take for granted. Greet the clerk in the post office with a smile and exchange pleasantries with the receptionist at your doctor’s office. It only takes a moment to pay a compliment or share an upbeat observation. If you radiate an easygoing good humor, people will want to be around you.
3. Show that you care.
Pay attention in your conversations with people. Genuinely listen. Note their interests and then when you run across a relevant magazine or Internet article, or an announcement of a local event that you think a particular person will enjoy, send it to him or her. And don’t let friendships wither away because of distance or time. That’s what email and Skype are for!