A couple of years ago I missed the wedding of Angie, one of my best friends from high school. Angie was heartbroken. And I felt awful that I wasn’t there to celebrate with her.
Sure, there was the excuse that we now lived hundreds of miles away from one another, but I could have found a way to be there, if I’d really wanted to. The truth is, blowing off friends had become somewhat of a pattern for me. I’d been doing for months.
I wasn’t being a very good friend.
I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps there was too much on my plate at the time. But one thing I did know was there had to be a change. A good portion of my once close friends had become nothing more than mere acquaintances.
Acquaintances are something I have a lot of. The majority of my friends on Facebook are acquaintances—people I haven’t seen in over a decade but we have crossed paths at one point or another. In the last few years, I’ve realized how surface level many of my friendships are. I tend to avoid uncomfortable conversations. Why would I want to share my struggles or need of encouragement with anyone?
After missing Angie’s wedding, along with moving from Wisconsin to Kentucky where I didn’t know anyone, I found the want to cultivate deeper relationships with women whom I love, respect, and trust. As a result, I’ve been learning—and attempting to put into practice—what it means to be a good friend.
Usually when I think of a good friend it is someone who’s easy to get along with, shares similar opinions, has the same (great) sense of style, finishes my sentences, and sticks by me when the going gets tough. But scripture says there’s a friend of greater value. A friend I really need.
According to Proverbs 27:17, this friend is one who sharpens me as “iron sharpens iron.” She spurs me “on … to love and good deeds” as Hebrews 10:24 says. Scripture also tells me that this type of friend is one who I need to have at least one of—and preferably many. A friend who sharpens is one who inspires me to serve, provokes me to love, helps me to grow in godliness, corrects me, strengthens my faith, and spurs me on to passion for the Savior.
I need friends that “sharpen.”
One way I can seek out these type of friendships is by inviting women I trust to point out sin, encourage me in the gospel, and spur me on to love and good deeds. I can ask them to become friends that sharpen, and I should strive to do the same for them.
After we moved to Kentucky, I found a deep connection with a woman I met through blogging. Soon we began to connect through e-mail, openly sharing details of our lives, and praying for one another. It was great to have a woman who I had grown to respect, love, and trust there to inspire me to serve, help me to grow in godliness (not only through e-mail, but in her blog posts!), and spur me on to grow in the Lord.
It has taken me time, but I now see my need to initiate friendships with people that will sharpen me. I know I need them. It may mean I have to stretch out of my comfort zone to initiate these relationships. It might even mean I have to have those awkward moments or conversation lulls for awhile to build up the friendship, but how amazing it is to have a friend in whom I can confide in about anything, knowing she will point me to the cross.
I know I can’t make up missing Angie’s wedding, but I do know that I can be a better friend to her in the future. Despite whatever is going on in my life I pray that I can be a constant friend. One whom others can count on, not only for a shoulder to lean on, but more so to love, be an encouragement, and point them to the Lord whether they are a believer or not.
I want to build friendships for Jesus Christ. I want to be a friend who sharpens.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Darlene Schacht, author of Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages and co-author of Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships8 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture5 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions