“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.” Proverbs 17:17, The Message
Has God ever shown you that you needed to let go of a friendship, but instead of following His lead, you intentionally held onto them too long until it resulted in conflict? As a counselor, I often tell my clients, “When you set a boundary, someone will be hurt.” And although none of us like this truth, what we fail to see is that by not setting a boundary – we are the ones who are continually being hurt!
I have found in my life that there are three types of friendships:
1. Friends for a lifetime.
2. Friends for a season.
3. Friends for a moment.
All three types of friendship are just as important as the other. You may be thinking, “Come on Tracy, surely a lifetime friend is more valuable than a friend for a season or moment!” I beg to differ with you – each type of friendship is valuable in its own right.
A friend in the moment can impact you for eternity. I will never forget sitting in a Chapel service at Mid-America Bible College. A young African American student presented the gospel. I don’t even know his name, but through his message and invitation, I accepted Jesus as my Savior – he was a friend for a moment that impacted my life for eternity.
A friend for a season can also impact you more than you know. I had a best guy-friend during my college years. He greatly prepared me for my husband. His friendship brought healing and restoration in my life – he was a friend for a season that impacted my life for such a time as this.
The thing about friendships is that we too often try and put the wrong people in the wrong place. Or how about this one – how many of us expect everyone we are friends with to act like our friends for a lifetime? I will never forget when my feelings were hurt because a friend failed to ask me about a recent speaking engagement. She knew about the event, but never inquired about it. After much prayer, God clearly showed me that I was wrong by expecting her to act like my friends for a lifetime – who ALWAYS pray for me and ask about my speaking engagements...knowing where a friend fits into our life can not only bring tremendous peace but also keep us from frustration and disappointment.
As women of God, it is time for us to let go of the childish things (offences, jealousy, back-biting, gossip, cliques, he-said-she-said conversations and every evil thing) and grab onto God with all of our might! God is the One person I can declare is your Friend for a lifetime! Selah (pause and think about that for a moment). Jesus is the One who is always on our side. He is cheering you on from heaven and intercedes for you when no one else does. Jesus is the friend that you are all longing for – grab onto Him and trust that He will give you wisdom in all your friendships.
“Lord, thank you for being my friend and Savior for a lifetime. You are always with me and I love you. I give you my friendships and ask that You forgive me for placing my hope in them rather than in You. Show me who my friends are for a lifetime, season and moment. I acknowledge today that each level of friendship is important in my life. I let go of childish things – offense, rejection, trying to defend myself, he said – she said conversations, gossip, criticism, and the such and grab onto You – the author and finisher of my faith. Amen.”
*An oldie but a goodie. This was originally published back in Spring of 2009 on Tuesdayswithtracy.com.