Good Friends VS. God Friends
A recent book release has spurred conversations regarding good versus God. Decades ago, my wise mother warned me, “Good is the enemy of best.” Her advice rings in my ears from time-to-time as I prayerfully consider choices in my life. Last year was a challenging one. My family and I endured the loss of several puppies in one of our litters, the death of our beloved almost 11-year old Goldendoodle, and a substantial financial set-back as well. Personally, I continued to deal with health issues and lost the friendship of someone dear to me. I have learned in the past decade to hold relationships with open hands; I allow God to bring friends in and take them out, knowing some friendships are seasonal. Rather than seek connection with someone, I try to be spirit-led. I ask the question, “Is this a good friend or a God friend?”
In this strategic season of alignment, we need to discern which things are “good” and which things are “God.” Even our relationships must be evaluated. Know the difference between good friends and God friends. A good friend will identify deficiencies in your life; a God friend will identify issues, pray for you and with you over them, and walk with you through the resolution. Good friends have fun and enjoy one another. God friends are drawn to go deeper, challenging one another to become all they are intended to be in Christ.
I am not called to be a God friend to everyone. Neither are you. Don’t cling to relationships you know aren’t part of your destiny because of your need for acceptance. Remember rejection is often times protection. Good things (and people) steal time and energy from God things. There is no condemnation when we hold relationships with open hands and open hearts. Jesus said, “I have not lost one of those you gave me” (Jn. 18:9). He gives and takes away.
Through prayer, we are able to determine how God would have us engage in relationships in our lives. At times, we are to be givers. Other times, we are to receive. And the most satisfying friendships are usually those where we comfortably give and receive. The best way to fill your life with God friends is to lay every relationship on the altar before the Lord. As He directs you, you follow. However, there are also practical questions you can ask of yourself and your friendships when determining the type of friend you want AND want to be:
• Do we listen well?
• Do we always have a need that must be met?
• Do we have unrealistic expectations of our friendship?
• Do we talk about other friends with each other? (If so, know we’re talking about each other to others, too). • THIS ONE IS VERY IMPORTANT: Do we have friends who have been in our lives for years, even decades? Longevity indicates faithfulness as well as conflict resolution skills.
Don’t think just because you hit it off with someone that the relationship is God ordained. Like spirits are drawn to one another (rejection, pride, control). The best friends are those drawn together by the spirit of God.
As we navigate through life’s challenges and learn how to interact with others in a healthy way, may we realize that even the pain is invaluable. We are training for reigning with Christ, and He is teaching us through experience. Hebrews 5:14 reminds us, “But solid food is for the mature, whose spiritual senses perceive heavenly matters. And they have been adequately trained by what they’ve experienced to emerge with understanding of the difference between what is truly excellent and what is evil and harmful.”