The Bacon Bits of Biblical Friendship: Godly Qualities That Help Build Lasting Friendships

Devotional

Day 1 - Openness


Friendship requires each of us to possess certain qualities before we’re able to then ask for and give back the wonderful gift of friendship. One of those qualities will always be humility. But as much as we all wish we could easily achieve humility, it often is hard to come by in our personal lives. It takes, as the Bible reminds us, a “clothing of ourselves” with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).


In other words, it’s harder than it looks. 


But if we take it one step at a time, we can learn it. It becomes less about “checking off the box” and more about a discipline that requires thoughtfulness, practice, and prayer.


A vital ingredient to humility is openness. Openness means living your whole life without walls and having the willingness to give up closely guarding your image. The challenge with openness is that the older you get, the less natural it becomes. Children are great. They tell it like it is. They say how they’re feeling. They’ll let you know what they think of your jokes, your latest fashion choices, and your parking ability, all while not caring a bit what you think of them.


Since childhood, though, you’ve experienced a time when you were open with someone and it backfired. Maybe that person was less than receptive or just plain mean. It’s happened to all of us. And the more it happens, the more walls we tend to put up.


What’s the solution? Openness becomes easier the more open you are with God. Psalm 139:23–24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” 


As you begin to accept and, in fact, cherish an open relationship with God—not hiding who you are and what you struggle with but instead allowing God to do the good work He promises He will do if you let Him—you will be better able to identify and anticipate the moments where openness will benefit both you and a friend.


Reflection: What do you find hardest to be open with God about?  What about friends? How will openness help in your pursuit of humility in all of your relationships?


Challenge: Give a friend a call today to check in with him or her. No agenda. Just ask how you can help them or pray for them.