5 Things I wish I did more as a Friend

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

Charlotte is spot on when she states that being a friend is a tremendous thing. I believe this is true—I really do. My closest friends are people who have loved me, molded me, and bettered me in more ways than I am even aware. Believing that good friendships are a tremendous thing, I want to respond by being the best friend I can. So continuing with the theme of ‘things I wish I did more,’ here are some of my thoughts on ways I could grow in being a better friend.

  1. Write letters

Don’t you love opening the mailbox and seeing a hand-written letter addressed to you? I sure do. I wish I spontaneously wrote letters to my friends just thanking them for being in my life or specific things I appreciate about them. I know the times I have received these ‘out of the blue, for no reason’ letters they have really been used in my life as a means of encouragement. I want to be that source of encouragement in my friend’s lives.

  1. Be vulnerable

I don’t want to be a perfect friend – meaning I don’t want to appear perfect. I want to be real and let people see my life even when it is not necessarily going well. This isn’t always easy. There are times when I know that my kids are out of sorts and liable to be hard work, or when my house is a wreck, when the easy thing would be to just curl up in a ball and not interact with my friends at all. Instead, I want to be a friend that says, “Please come share life with me. My house is a mess, but please do come over.” I don’t want the many imperfections of my life to keep me from thriving friendships.

  1. Speak the truth in love

I want to have deep friendships where we are honest with one another. I want my friends to speak truth to me by correcting or rebuking me when needed—and I want to be that type of friend to them too. I don’t want to be the type who mollycoddles a friend when it would be to their benefit for me to speak up. I want to ask and be asked hard questions and expect and give honest answers. Paul instructs the body of believers in Ephesians 4:15 to “speak the truth in love” as they grow to maturity in Christ. I want to be part of maturing Christ-centered friendships. For more related to this, see an earlier post on prayer partners.

  1. Believe the Best

I want to be a friend who automatically believes the best in my friends, someone who is quick to extend grace. I want to establish friendships where we speak the truth (see number 3) and then take each other at our word and not ascribe ulterior motives. This temptation can rear its head often in social media, although by no means is it limited to this venue. I want to read through my news feed on Facebook and be full of joy in what I have just read, not judgment. I certainly would want others to do that to me. So in that same vein, please be gracious to me in this admission – I am being vulnerable (see number 2)!

  1. Pray with them

If you have read my other posts relating to  ‘things I want to do more’ you may remember that prayer is something that I would like to do better in lots of areas of my life. In relation to my friends, not only do I want to pray for them, but I want to pray with them. I want to be the type of friend who prays spontaneously, recognizing the Lord and his power, and be comfortable enough to just initiate prayer when friends are over –after dinner, after a cup of coffee, after a walk on the trail. The times I have done this, it has been significant; and I think it is the type of thing that matures a friendship and becomes more natural the more we do it.

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