Gold Medaling in Friendship

In a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine, it was clear that entrepreneur Elon Musk has it all—except love. He is one of the only people in the world who has started four separate billion dollar companies. After his divorce to his ex-wife Justine and his breakup with his actress girlfriend, Musk has no to share his riches with. Now at 46-years-old, Musk said, “Being in a big empty house, and no footsteps echoing through the hallways, … How do you make yourself happy in a situation like that?” He added, “When I was a child, there was one thing I said: ‘I never want to be alone.'” And then he whispered again, “I never want to be alone.”

“It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18

Loneliness isn’t a part of God’s plan. God made us for relationships. We were formed for friendships.

There are two kinds of friends:

  • Casual friends
  • Close friends

Casual friends happen because of circumstances. You happen to go to church together, PTA together, work together, or live on the same street with somebody.

But close friends happen because of choices. You can’t be close friends with everybody so you have to choose them. Friendships don’t just happen. You have to build them.

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” Proverbs 13:20

“The righteous chooses his friends carefully: but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 (KJ2000)

You need the right THEY in your life. THEY are: Tough, Honest, Encouraging, and Yielded.

How do I become a great friend?

1. Be interested!

If you want friends, you’ve got to be a friend.

Unfriendly people care only about themselves; Proverbs 18:1

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4

2. Be Approachable.

No one wants to go up and talk to someone who looks like they’re about to bite someone’s head off or they’re sucking on lemons!

A glad heart makes a happy face; Proverbs 15:13

There is power in a smile.

We don’t need any more “woe-is-me” Christians.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Does the room light up when you walk in it, or when you walk out of it?

3. Be positive.

There are some people who can find the cloud inside every silver lining.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15

When you don’t complain and argue, your life is going to be so different from everyone else, that you will stand out like a star.

There’s always something to complain about. But if you look, you’ll find a lot to be happy about. It all depends on your perspective and your attitude.

4. Be silent.

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. Proverbs 10:19

Questions and listening are the key to going deeper in your relationship.

Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5

5. Be accepting.

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Romans 15:7

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17

God loves us by meeting us right where we are and loving us unconditionally.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

6. Be honoring.

When you make people feel important, you can bring the best out of them.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

At the Connection Church, we want to honor up, honor down, honor all around.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

7. Be open.

When we’re closed off from people emotionally, it pushes people away.

“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

One definition of a friend is: “A friend is somebody who laughs at your jokes even when they’re not very funny and sympathizes with your problems even when they’re not very bad.”

8. Be committed.

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

“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.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The time to make those friends are when you don’t really feel like you need them. So that when problems come, they’ll be there.

A friend is somebody who walks in when everybody else walks out.

9. Be redemptive.

Jesus told the man, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39 (NIV)

The friendliest thing you can do is tell somebody about what a difference Jesus can make in their lives and invite them to church with you. When you share your faith with a friend, you’re making a friend for not just here and now, but for eternity.

Have you told every single one of your friends about how much you want them to know Jesus? If they’re really a friend, that’s the best thing you can do for them. 90% of everyone who becomes a Christian does so because of a close friend or relative. For some of my friends, I’m the only way they’re going to know about Jesus. You’re the only Bible some people will ever read. You’re the only Jesus some people will ever see.

Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Every one of these principles can be boiled down to The Golden Rule!

If you will treat people like you want to be treated then you will have all the friends that you can handle.

Your potential is so great, but you also need some good friends in your life to bring out all of those qualities.

Jesus said, “I no longer call you slaves, now you are my friends.” John 15:15

The God of the Universe who made the whole world says, “You can be my friend.” Following Jesus isn’t about a religion, but about a friendship with Jesus. Start a friendship with Jesus and ask Him to help put these principles in your life to make you a friendly person.

Cole Phillips

I'm a Connector, linking people with God and with others to experience the kind of life God has planned for them. I am the founding and Lead Pastor of THE CONNECTION CHURCH in Buda, Texas. I previously served in churches around the state as youth pastor and as pastor before moving to Kyle in the Spring of 2004. I love to lead people to connect with God and those around them and thrive on changed lives. I earned a doctorate in missions and evangelism with an emphasis on church growth. My heart beats for helping people connect with God and connect with others in an authentic community of faith. I love listening to and making music. I also enjoy hanging out with my family. Pam and I have been married since 1991 and we have two daughters, Makenzie and Bethanie. We are planting our lives in Hays County and allowing God to build a great church through us.