A good friend will motivate you to keep going, encourage you, and be honest with you. God wants to be your friend. We are to be friends of God! I want to share three tips with you on how to be a friend of God.
1. Desire to spend time with God.
We should all enjoy spending time with our friends. Your friends should be building you up and encouraging you to accomplish all God has for you! If you don’t look forward to seeing your friends, then maybe you should rethink who you surround yourself with. You can read more about finding the right friends HERE.
Just like we enjoy spending time with our friends, we should look forward to spending time with God. He wants to be your friend! He wants to look out for you, encourage you, build you up, and prepare you for life. And He’s got the best advice!
God designed you and created you exactly for a specific purpose, and He wants to share that with you.
While your friendship with God won’t be the two of you sipping tea and chatting, you can get to know the character of God by spending time in His Word, and you can talk to Him through prayer. So while it doesn’t look like the most traditional friendship on the surface, it will be the most rewarding one. You will feel more refreshed after spending time with God through reading His Word or in prayer than after hanging out with anyone else.
Any relationship takes time, and the same goes for your relationship with the Lord. We have to spend time with Him in order to understand His will for our lives. We also need to have consistency. If you met someone and then only talked to them briefly twice a year, how well do you think you would know that person? Probably not well at all! But so many Christians do this in their relationships with the Lord. They go to church on Christmas and Easter, say a few prayers, and view God as a distant figure. God will feel distant if you don’t consistently take time with Him, just like any friend would feel distant if you only talked to them twice a year.
Being a friend of God means it needs to get personal.
God wants to know you, but you have to let Him into your life. Many people follow celebrities on social media. Say you follow a particular celebrity, and they post photos of their outfits, their home decor, their family, and they give “life updates.” How well do you really know them? You may know general facts about their life: maybe they have four kids, live in Florida, and have a beautiful house. But do they know you? No! The same goes for your relationship with God.
If you show up to church on Sunday morning, learn about God, but go home and live out the rest of your week on your own, you won’t have a close relationship with God. Your relationship with God shouldn’t come solely from hearing your pastor talk about God. Going to church is important, and it’s a great start in your relationship with God, but it can’t be everything. You should spend your own time in the Word, spend time in prayer, and let God speak to you. He wants to be your friend; let Him!
2. Live for God out of love, not duty.
Think of someone you love. It could be a spouse, a child, a family member, or a friend. If they asked you to help them out, would you do it? Most likely, your answer would be yes! Why? Because we enjoy helping the people we love. My husband, Gary, and I have five children, and I know I would do almost anything for them!
The same goes for our relationship with God. He has given us the Bible as our guide for life out of His love for us. His rules are in place to protect us. Therefore, when we begin to understand the character of God and His heart, we should strive to follow the life demonstrated by Jesus because we want to be more like Him, not because we have to.
The more time we spend pursuing the things of God, the more we will desire to follow His Word. Psalm 34:8 (NIV) says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” God is good! His plan for your life is so great, and the more time you spend with Him, the more you will realize how much better His plan is than your own.
God knows exactly what you are good at. He designed you for a purpose, and He wants to see you succeed at it! Unfortunately, Satan will try to get you off track, lie to you, and tell you that God’s way is not the right path. Recognize the lies of the enemy by spending time in God’s Word. Satan lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he will use the same strategy and tactics to lie to us today.
Live for God out of love.
Being a Christian isn’t a laundry list of things to do and an even longer list of what not to do. Spending time with God will make you want to live for Him. You’ll see His goodness in your life and want to share that with others. His way is truly the best way to live!
3. Have the right qualities.
Think about some characteristics of a good friend. What comes to mind? Here are ten qualities I believe are vital that I share in my latest book, Friendship Matters.
A good friend will live like Jesus and will have these characteristics. Jesus is our Savior, but He’s also our friend. He is a sincere picture of someone who truly loves us! We can learn from the example of Jesus in the Gospels and embody those same qualities.
Jesus was honest. Even though sometimes we want empathy, we need honesty from our friends. Jesus always spoke the truth! He was also comforting. We can find many examples of Jesus being both honest and comforting throughout the Bible, but one example I like is the woman at the well in John 4.
The woman at the well was a Samaritan woman, and Jesus was Jewish. He asked her for a drink, ignoring the social standards that were in place. At that time, Jewish people and Samaritans did not associate with each other.
Nonetheless, Jesus asked her for a drink of water and had a conversation with her.
You may be familiar with the story. Jesus told her in verses 13-14, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” When the woman asked how she could get this water, Jesus told her to get her husband. She admitted she did not have one, but Jesus already knew that. He told her she had already had five husbands, and she was living with a man she was not married to. Instead of judging her, Jesus told her who He is—the Messiah!
The Bible tells us that many Samaritans believed because of her testimony. Do you think this would have happened if Jesus sat there and ridiculed her? Or what if He talked to His disciples and said, “This is why we don’t associate with these people”? Things would have played out so differently! Jesus did not even know the woman at the well before this encounter, but He still treated her well. He had every opportunity to be rude, to condemn her, or to ignore her altogether, but He didn’t.
How often do we put people on the back burner of our lives? Do you ignore people around you? In today’s media-focused culture, it is so easy to be distracted by our phones or to use them as an excuse not to have a real conversation. Think about the last time you were at a store and a salesperson checked you out. Did you stop and ask them how their day was going, or did you get on your phone while they scanned your items? If it’s the latter, that’s okay! But I want to challenge you to ask how their day is going or have a quick conversation with them. It could shift their whole day, and it may encourage you as well! Being a good friend means paying attention to other people and showing them that they matter.
God wants you to experience good friendships in life that will push you toward Him! So spend time with God, get involved in the right places, and you will find the right friends in life!
To learn more about how to experience godly friendships, get my latest book, Friendship Matters, HERE.