Friendship + Humility

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman
“And as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You’re gonna see it’s our destiny
You’ve got a friend in me”

You’ve gotta love that theme song from Toy Story! It’s a classic that everyone sings along to when they hear it! I can’t help but wonder if that second line is what we all long for – a friendship that will never die.

Friendship has been heavy on my mind and heart lately – how I’ve been a good friend, but mostly how I’ve failed as a friend. In those instances, I don’t want to repeat history. I’m not looking for encouragement as to how I may have been/am a good friend to you. I’m just learning along the way what I’m doing well and how I’m falling short as a friend. Maybe you can learn something along with me!

Notice the last line in the song – “You’ve got a friend in me”. We’ve heard the saying “It takes being a friend to have a friend.” What do friends do then?

When we’re young, a friend is so easy to make. It was as simple in Kindergarten as walking up to someone and asking if they’d like to be friends. Maybe you know they’re a real friend if you get invited to their birthday party. Friends think of you outside of school and maybe bring you your favorite thing. As you grow up you look for friends who have similar interests, personalities, backgrounds, jobs, etc. You spend time together doing those things – music, sports, working.

Some friends are just for a season. You graduate from high school or college, and life just changes. People move, your stage of life is just different, and so the things you had in common just aren’t there anymore. The ability to spend time together isn’t there, or priorities just change.

I’m finding that I’m in a place where I’m realizing how much WORK friendships are after all of these life season changes. Friendships don’t just exist. Friendships don’t just maintain themselves. A few characteristics that I’m finding that good friendships require are: time spent together, encouragement, accountability, fun, understanding, communication, and humility.

Recently, I was challenged in a class to do a search on the “one another” verses in the Bible, and the following verse stuck out to me with the aspect of humility and was thinking on how it relates to friendships. The first verse I found was in 1 Peter 5:5, which says “…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another…”. Another verse on humility, not necessarily a one another, from Philippians 2:5 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

It takes sacrifice for you to push yourself aside to be a friend to someone else. To clothe yourself with humility toward a friend, it means taking time to spend time with, listen to, and give of yourself to someone else. It also takes humility to come to a friend with your shortcomings. To be real enough with that person to show how you’re falling short in maybe work, a relationship, or your walk with Christ. Or maybe it’s just in asking for forgiveness for something you did to that friend. Have you ever wanted to be friends with that one person? Maybe it’s a status of association that you’re looking for (aka selfish ambition). I talked about how we have a hard time seeing others as more significant than ourselves or cheering them on in their successes in my blog post Cheerleader. This “doing life together” thing as friends is not a competition, but a clothing ourselves in humility toward one another to cheer each other on in each of our successes!

So, I’m working on humility. I’m working on admitting my shortcomings and seeing others as more significant than myself. I’m working on and through how I can be a better friend, and how the Bible truly gives us the best example of being a friend through verses on how we can “one another”. Ultimately, we see the perfect friend in Christ. The One who laid down His life for us. That may just be the wrap up for the series in March!

I’m thinking that I’m going to do a further dive in the “one another verses” and writing a few posts about how they relate to friendships this month. So keep following along if you’re also on this journey in figuring out this friendship thing!


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