Building Deep Friendships in a Shallow Culture

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True friendship is priceless. I don’t need to convince you of this, you know it already. It can be difficult to establish and keep real friends. Our fast-paced, highly demanding modern culture has become toxic to the sort of relationships that most satisfy the human soul. But that doesn’t mean it cannot be done.

3 Pillars to Building a Good Friendship

1. Keep God first. This may not seem to follow with what we’re talking about, but it’s actually vital. We often expect too much of others, hoping they will fulfill our need for companionship, meaning, contentment. But if our relationship with God isn’t fulfilling us, there isn’t much chance a human being can do it, either. 

Look to God first for what you need, and you will be able to enter relationships with other people with confidence, knowing that they may fail but God won’t. And on the flip side, keep yourself accountable to God to be a good friend to others and other people will be drawn to you.

2. Be trustworthy. How can you ask of someone else what you won’t offer them? Commit to being the sort of friend you want someone else to be. Show up on time, keep the things they share confidential, forgive mistakes and overlook imperfections. Be encouraging, invest time in the relationship, think of the other person and not just yourself.

3. Take your time. Nothing good and lasting is built overnight. Even if you desperately desire a deep, meaningful relationship, go one step at a time. Have lunch together and talk. Text them something during the week now and then. Invite them over for dinner with the family. Make a list of things that are important to you and bring these topics up in conversation, one at a time.

Explore this person’s values, priorities, personality. Get to know them. Nothing can replace the bond that is developed by spending time with someone and sharing life over many experiences.

TAKING IT TO HEART: Which one of the three ways above is most challenging to you? As you work on developing stronger friendships, don't neglect the hard parts.

THE CHALLENGE: Pray about which friendship to develop, and take steps in the next seven days to put God first, be trustworthy, and spend some time with your chosen friend.

There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
— Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)