Many people in our generation are feeling lonely, and it’s because we no longer know how to truly build good friendships with the people in our lives.
When you think of the qualities of a good friend, what comes to mind? Do they make you laugh? Are they kind? For me, it’s someone who invests into my life, who cares about my failures and triumphs, and someone in whom I can invest in return. That’s what a good friend means to me. So, what does a godly friendship look like? The Bible tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” A godly friendship involves helping one another through times of need and strengthening one another.
People of our generation are facing an epidemic of loneliness. We spend time “together” on social media, which fills some of the mental gaps, but it does not satisfy our need for people. Instead of building real connections and genuinely investing, we’re replacing our interactions with likes and comments while we sit in front of a screen. The Messianic lifestyle only magnifies this because communities are small and spread far apart. It’s hard to spend time with a friend when that person lives hundreds of miles away.
It’s natural to feel lonely sometimes, but there are numerous verses about God being with us in our times of sorrow and need:
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3)
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families; he leads out the prisoners with singing. (Psalms 68:5-6)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
It’s nice to know that God will always be with us when we’re lonely, but there are ways to build the friendships we have and create new ones that will last. As with any other relationship, friendships require work. The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. The first step is making sure you’re investing in the right people. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm,” and Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” When choosing whom to invest in the most, keep in mind that we often become like our friends. Choose people who will walk with you along the right path:
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26)
There are many ways to invest more in the friendships we have. Instead of leaving a three-word comment on their post, write them a letter or an email to let them know that you’re thinking of them. When you do have time to spend together, don’t waste it sitting in front of screens. Spend the time actually doing something with your friend. Keep up on significant events in their lives. When you know something big is coming up, whether it’s scary or exciting, pray for them and ask them how they’re dealing with it. The first step to having good friends is being a good friend. Once we start making these small adjustments in our lives, soon we’ll see the difference in our friendships.