Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Aug. 28, 2007


August 28, 2007

Friendship: A Risky Business

Mary Southerland



Today’s Truth

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this; that one lay down his life for his friends.”


Friend to Friend

Friendship is the launching pad for every love in life and the foundation of all right relationships. We all need friends and we all need to learn how to be a friend. A few random thoughts on friendship:


·         When you’re in a jam, good friends will bring you bread with peanut butter on it.

·         A friend is one who knows all about you and loves you anyway!

·         A friend is: a push when you've stopped

a word when you're lonely

a guide when you're searching

a smile when you're sad

a song when you're glad.

·         A friend will joyfully sing with you when you are on the mountaintop, and silently walk beside you through the valley.


In his book, “The Broken Heart”, Dr. James J. Lynch shows that lonely people live significantly shorter lives than the general population. While it is a simple fact that we need each other, friendship is anything but simple. In fact, one of the key elements in a healthy friendship is risk. Simply put, there is no love without risk. John 15:13 states the truth that true love, true friendship is willing to sacrifice, to take risks – to lay down your life. When you lay down your life, you take a chance on being rejected and hurt. At times, you may be misunderstood and even betrayed. Is friendship really worth it?


I don’t have a green thumb, but I once had a neighbor in Clinton, Mississippi who did. She grew the most beautiful roses I had ever seen! Blooms spilled over our backyard fence in a rainbow of colors; pink, yellow, red and white. In the afternoons, when my kids woke up from their naps, we would head to the back yard where they played and I visited with my neighbor. She always wore heavy, thick gloves when working the rose bed because of the spiny thorns. Occasionally, however, she would remove the gloves and show me where a long thorn had left its painful mark, even through the gloves. One day, my son saw her “boo-boo” and asked her why she liked those “nasty flowers that give you shots”. My neighbor laughed and asked Jered, “Do you think my flowers are pretty?” Jered answered, “Yes, they are very, very pretty!” My neighbor gently explained, “I think so, too. They are so pretty that they make me forget about the way they sometimes hurt my hands. I just try to be careful when I handle them so that I don’t get too many hurts.”


Friendship is like that. It will surely bring hurt and an occasional wound, but the beauty of friendship is worth an occasional wound. If we handle the friendship carefully and with respect, the wounds will be few. For example, it is important to love and cherish our friends, but we cannot hold friends responsible for our happiness. Jesus Christ is the only friend that will never disappoint or hurt us and we need to expect that all others will. I have a friend who cannot keep confidences. She would do anything for me…except keep her mouth closed. She is my personal broadcasting system! But because I love her and don’t want to write her off as a friend, I have simply learned to be cautious about what I tell her.


Every friendship has a price tag dangling from it. Every friendship involves a cost, a risk. 1 Peter 4:8 encourages us to take the risk, to pay the price, to love them anyway, because “love covers a multitude of sins.” In this verse, “cover” literally means to “hide or overlook” the faults of others. We know that the faults are there, but we choose to love that person anyway…which is exactly the response we want from a friend. We were created to bear each other’s burdens, to need each other. Don’t spend another day longing for friendship. Take the first step…take a risk. Be a friend!


Let’s pray

Lord, I first want to thank You for being the Friend who will never leave me, who will never let me down and who will always want the very best for my life. Father, help me to be a friend and to accept friendship. Teach me what it means to lay down my life for someone else as You have laid down Your life for me. Give me eyes to see those friends You bring my way and the courage to take the risk of being a friend. And may every friendship in my life please and honor You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Now it’s your turn

Make a list of the five most important friendships in your life.

What sacrifices have you made in those friendships? What sacrifices have those friends made for you?

What one change do you need to make in order to be a better friend?

Make a plan for implementing that change…today!


More from the girlfriends

I know what many of you are thinking. I don’t really need friends. I can do life on my own. For years, I had the same attitude…until one day, while sitting at the bottom of a dark pit, I realized that one of the reasons I was there was because I had invested very little in friendships. Our schedules are filled to the point where there doesn’t seem to be room for friends, but I often wonder if we don’t use busyness as a safer substitute for the risky business of friendship. I encourage you to step out in faith, take the risk and invest time in a new friend. God will honor and bless it! And know that in Gwen, Sharon and me…you already have three girlfriends who are cheering for you and walking beside you. My book, “Coming Out of the Dark”, has an entire chapter devoted to the art of friendship. Check it out!



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