I wasn’t the most popular person at school. I had a close group of friends, but I definitely didn’t fall into the cool group of kids who pretty much knew the entire year − and half of the year above too! Not having a load of friends made me feel a little insecure at times and even when I got to uni, some of those thoughts were still there. I kinda thought university would be this magical place where I would meet a load of like-minded people and make amazing friends for life. Although I did meet a few incredible girls who I’m still close to, admittedly, there were times when I felt quite lonely.
The whole friendship thing is a big issue for many girls, particular in the age of social media where it’s all about followers, likes and constant online interactions. Although social media has its positives, it can also make us feel insecure about not having enough ‘friends’, it can prevent us from establishing meaningful relationships in the real world and can make it super difficult for us to work out who our real friends actually are.
As I’ve gotten older, God has been teaching me some really important lessons about friendships. Friendships are a wonderful thing – they’re biblical in fact. The reality, however, is that not all friendships are healthy. And just because a person seems to have a load of friends, it doesn’t mean that all those relationships are good for them. We need to make sure we apply Godly wisdom to avoid ending up in toxic relationships.
The bible gives some brilliant advice on what good, Godly friendships look like. Proverbs 27:17 says: ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ Friends are called to uplift and build up one another and in the process, make each other stronger. And 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us that bad company corrupts good character. Are your friendships leading you to do positive things with your life, or are they slowly damaging your character? Even Jesus himself had to deal with toxic relationships. Judas, who was supposed to be one of his twelve closest boys, ended up betraying him for what was practically small change!
My desire for you is to surround yourself with friends who will ‘refresh your soul’ (Proverbs 27:9), bringing good vibes only. A good circle of friends can be difficult to find and it may take some time (I’m still working on it!). Remember though, in order to see the good in those who may end up being a big part of your life, it’s important for you to see the value in yourself first.