It is possible for us all to be a good friend. As society continue to progress as its ever quicker pace; we must pause and reflect upon what is truly important. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of life and move along with it while forsaking what is right in front of us. Are our priorities matching that we lay claim to when we say our family and friends are most important? When our lives match our words then we can truly begin living in the fullness of what we claim.
I recently listened to a sermon with a question asking ‘what makes up a good friend’? There is no better friend than Jesus although even in saying that it must mean we reflect on the attributes and traits of Jesus in order to follow that example. What are some lessons from Jesus that we can learn in how to become a good friend?
1- Listen. We all need someone to listen to us; regardless of who we are. A listening ear can change everything. There is no better listener than Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Being able to follow the example of them and just be in silence to listen without interrupting, engage and empathize are gifts that we all need. Job is one such person who experienced the 7 days of silence; until it was no longer. Some listened while others were not fully able to engage in the act itself. Let us come to the place of setting aside our opinions and give our ears for the benefit and sake of others.
2- Withhold judgment. All too often we have our own judgments, preconceived notions and ideas about how we think things should be. While that is fine; bringing them forth toward others may cause more harm than we realize. We must recognize that our situations are not theirs and that our judgment may not be as necessary as we want to think it is. Jesus demonstrates this with the woman at the well; He knew all yet judged her not.
3- Forgive. Who hasn’t ever needed forgiveness? We all have faults and fall short and forgiving others when they do too transforms everything. The world is already hate-filled enough and it’s the act of love in forgiveness toward others that can bring forth a refreshing as we go forth. Ask yourself if what you are choosing to not forgive your friends for and determine if they were to treat you the same way by your faults if you think it would be justified.
4- Be present. Life is short; and passing with each day. Your friends need you present as you need them present. When with them; be with them. The text messages, voice mails; and all else will get done. What won’t get done is an opportunity to go back and redo. No. The moment is in the present and present moment is the moment. Don’t miss it.
It doesn’t take much to be transformed as a friend. Simply take an inventory and pay attention and become what you would want others to be in your life. The golden rule is to treat people how you would want to be treated. The platinum rule is to treat people how they want to be treated.