Hey all! Sorry that this devotional is coming to you a little late in the day. To be honest, we had a topic set and written, but as Monday approached, we felt Him give us a little nudge into a different direction. As you can see by the title, this week we’re talking about encouraging our friends and having friends that encourage us!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
We all need and crave a good support system of people who will rally around us during different seasons of our lives, pray with us, and be a shoulder to lean on. As humans, we want to feel connected and a part of a group of people, a squad, an entourage…whatever you call it, we want to feel LOVED!
Yet, sometimes we become friends with people who don’t have our best interests or don’t bring out the best in us. Those relationships can really ruin our self-image and harden our hearts when it comes time for making new friends.
Therefore, it’s so important to surround ourselves with people who will lift us up and cheer us on during those times when we feel like giving up. We came across a quote on good ‘ol Instagram and it really resonated with us. It said, “Spend time with people that pour water on your fears & doubts and gasoline on your dreams.”
How many times have you shared something personal with a friend, maybe it was a struggle you’re going through or excitement about a new business venture, just to have your friend burst your bubble? Not so uplifting, right?
After that, you kind of give yourself a mental note to not share things with that person, which isn’t so healthy for building relationships and bonding with your friends.
We all have fears and need our friends to remind us of how awesome we are so we can keep on moving towards our goals. It can be so disheartening when we don’t have that support system. A lot of the time it can seem as though our “friends” rejoice in the fact that our lives are crumbling and that’s when, sadly, we have to re-evaluate our friendship.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitably to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” 1 Peter 4:8-10 (NIV).
Friendships are based on trust, just like any romantic relationship, so we encourage you to grab coffee with a friend that you haven’t connected with in awhile and ask them about their dreams and goals. Let them know that you’re cheering them on and if you know of somebody that can help them (perhaps, you), then point them in the right direction.
We need those kind of friendships and we also need to be that kind of friend. You can’t expect your friend to always lift you up if you never do the same for them, so really spend some time meditating on who God’s wanting you to reach out to and encourage. Maybe it’s a friend who doesn’t even believe in God, but has been feeling so overwhelmed. Listen to them and love them. Or maybe it’s a brother or sister in Christ who has been slowly fading into the background and feeling discouraged and weak. Meet a need and leave your friend stronger than when you first met them.
“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12 (NIV).
So, whoever may be reading this, we hope that you feel a little more encouraged than when you first started reading this post. We hope that whatever you’re going through, you can count on having a strong group of friends that you can call on to lift you up and give you some peace of mind. If not, we’re here for you and would love to connect so please feel free to e-mail us or DM us on Instagram. We’d love to hear from you and offer any advice to keep you focused on your goals.
We realize that we’re all going through stuff and can easily feel anxious, sad and alone. But, we can guarantee that having a solid group of friends will serve as a powerful tool in our lives. Friendships are more than just having someone to go out to eat with or use for the carpool lane. Friendships are suppose to inspire us and allow us to flourish in our gifts and talents! Spend time with those who will pour gasoline on your dreams and be there to lift you up in those ambiguous moments. Let’s rejoice in knowing that we are here to encourage each other, not compete with each other.
Questions over coffee:
Who do you need to reach out to this week to grab coffee with and encourage?
Do you need to re-evaluate some friendships that have made you feel empty and hurt?
What steps are you going to take to be a better friend to somebody who needs help with reaching their dreams and goals?