A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17
“A FRIEND knows you totally and likes you anyway.”
“A friend is always there for you.”
“A friend loans you money and doesn’t bug you to get it back.”
“A friend knows how you’re feeling just by looking at you.”
So how would you describe a “friend”? You might say, “Anyone I know.” Or “Only those I can share my secrets and feelings with.” Huge difference? That’s because there are different levels of friendship.
Casual friendship is the first level. Casual friends are your next-locker neighbors, other classmates, neighbors you chat with but don’t know well, and perhaps many of your teachers. (You wouldn’t call all of them enemies, would you?) Anyone you talk with qualifies as a casual friend.
Close friends are the second level of friendship. Your close friends include people you eat lunch with, the ones you choose to sit by in class, and the ones you want time with on weekends.
Committed friends take you to a much deeper level of friendship. These are people you allow to see the real you. You trust them with your secrets, hurts, and joys. Most people have a group of casual friends, fewer close friends, and just a handful of committed friends.
If you have lots of casual friendships but come up short on committed friendships, you’ll feel lonely. Only on that third and deepest level of friendship are your needs for love and acceptance truly met. It’s committed friends who take away your loneliness.
Some days you want to go into worm mode and inch away from everyone. But if you get close to an inner circle of a few trusted friends, you find those friends comfort, counsel, and challenge you. When you hurt, your committed friends might not know what to say, but just being there for you helps. When you have to make a decision, friends let you bounce ideas around. Sometimes their advice doesn’t really help, but just having them around gives you confidence that everything will work out.
And when there’s something in your life that needs to be changed — a bad attitude, a harmful habit, or a risky behavior — committed friends lovingly push you toward doing what you know is right.
REFLECT: Good friends can impact your life in countless ways, so it’s vital you choose your friends wisely. What friendships are you willing to work hard at today?
PRAY: Ask God today to guide you to a few trustworthy friends.