Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:8-11
Webster’s dictionary says a friend is “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” As a teenager, we spend most of our time with friends, and this is the way it is supposed to be. We stay up late at night laughing, talking, and dreaming. We want to know our friends, and we want them to know us. We long to belong to a group of friends, those that can encourage and support us through our middle and high school years.
Friends are what make life, school, and camp fun and exciting! God created us for connection – connection to Him and connection with others. Connection brings joy and experiences that are necessary to grow in our lives.
God offers us great advice on how being a friend is more important than just having friends. Proverbs 17:17 states “A friend loves at all times,” not just when it is convenient or easy, not just when we will experience something in return.
It is a gift that models Christ’s love for us. Being a good friend means to be honest and dependable. It means to listen and be there not just in the good, happy times. God wants us to be committed in our relationships. Even though friends will hurt and disappoint us because they are human and imperfect, we can love them. We will hurt and disappoint others because we are human and imperfect, but we can work this out with God’s help and guidance.
Even though human friendships will not fill us up completely, we can enjoy them, give to them, and experience God’s love through them. Remember, God offers us an eternal friendship with Him, promising a connection that will give us support, freedom, and peace.
Take Away: Be a friend to others by encouraging, listening, helping. Begin the journey of accepting God’s friendship as a free gift where you are never alone.