Do you have a friend who is just about perfect? You know what I mean—she has hair to die for, gorgeous skin, wears killer clothes and always smells divine?
I have one of those friends. But rather than hate her, I admire her…she’s so very special!
So I said to her. “I wish I could be like you. ” I sighed. “Tall and statuesque.”
“Ha! Look at you” she said with a giggle. “And what are you? A size zero?”
We laughed. “NO,” I said, “Four petite.”
“Good. Because anyone who wears a size zero is not my friend.”
We both giggled like high school girls.
But what she said was quite profound. You and I should do the same—refuse to have friends who wear zero—in the encouragement department, that is. A friend who offers zero support. A friend who offers zero empathy. Zero wisdom. Zero understanding and nada of genuine love. Those are taken off our list of friends.
Conversely, if you want to be a friend with an extra-large amount of wisdom and love, here are the secrets to be that kind of friend:
1. Evaluate what you bring to the friendship: understanding, joy, positive thoughts and attitudes.
2. Be slow to criticize. To keep count of wrongs. To react without thinking. And to discourage.
3. Be quick to praise. To uplift the spirits. To highlight the good. To be available. And to surprise with sweet gestures.
And when talking about what size of love we wear in our heart, our words are the measuring stick: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:2).
Father, grant me the wisdom to speak all that is edifying, encouraging, uplifting and honoring to you. Make me the friend Jesus is—with genuine love and sincere giving. In Jesus’ name, amen.
• How do your friends enrich your life?
• Are you the kind of friend you want to be?
• What criteria do you use to evaluate friends?