Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 23: What does the Bible say? Part 4 {31 Days of Friendship}

The Bible has much to say to us about relationships and friendship. That's why today is the fourth part of what has become a series-within-a-series this month.

Parts 2 and 3 were a bit the same--we need to watch what we say, and encourage each other. But what about trustworthiness? That is a great topic when referring to friends, because determining whether or not a person is trustworthy will ultimately determine whether or not you'll become friends and/or remain friends in the long run.
Trustworthiness is a hallmark of wisdom. See what Proverbs says about this:
Walk with the wise and become wise;    
associate with fools and get in trouble.

A friend must be worthy of my trust, or she is not a friend at all. Unfortunately, my track record in this department has not been super-great (you can read more of my sad-friend posts here in the master-list post). Nevertheless, I have wonderful friendships with fantastic women who are very trustworthy. They've proven themselves so time and time again, and I know if I call any one of them up right now, she will keep what I say in confidence and encourage me.

That is a priceless gift.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

But in order to reach out and help--or accept the help offered--there must be trust. And trust has to be earned over time. Because of what happened to me (again, sad posts here and here), I am incredibly wary of instant friendship, especially online. Why does a secret Facebook group foster that trust just because it is "secret" and just because it is labeled "Christian" or "Bible study"? I do not know. But I'm not going to immediately begin sharing deep secrets or private prayer requests just because others do. There has to be trust earned first.

A gossip goes around telling secrets,
    but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

I wish I had a magic formula for fostering quick-and-easy-trust in friendship, but I don't. It really is trial and error and time and love. I find myself constantly finding advice in John 15 about friendship:

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

I can say that my very good friends, the ones I could call if I needed to talk, are all Christ followers themselves. I think that having Jesus as common ground, while not the only criteria for trustworthiness, certainly helps in my life to know if she is trustworthy.
To read part 1, click here; part 2, click here; and part 3, click here.

To read the introductory post and find links for my whole #write31days series, click here.

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