Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-15
You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
When Max graduated from elementary school and moved into middle school, his tight-knit group of buddies were scattered among more than two thousand other students. With all of his friends assigned to another team of students and teachers, he seldom saw them in the hallways, much less had the chance to share a class or eat lunch with them. His only hope of staying connected with his friends was finding time to play after school. Yet as his old friends chatted about their new experiences together, he felt more and more out of place. As weeks went by without finding any friends on his own team, Max started to feel like his loneliness was a lifetime sentence.
Even if you’ve never switched schools, you’ve maybe been in a bad spot where you felt like Max. You think, I’ll never have any real friends. You feel, I guess I just don’t deserve having someone like me.
You don’t have to stay trapped. Even when you feel like you’ve been doomed to a life of solitary confinement, you can bust loose into a world of close friendships.
Talk about it: When have you felt lonely? What did you do to solve your situation?
The next time you’re trapped in a friendless prison, take these tips:
Get honest. Take an honest look at your life. Are you doing anything that scares people away?
Get help. You don’t have to sign up for charm lessons, but you can still rely on someone to show you the way. Max found that his older brother could give him kind, helpful feedback that helped him be a better friend. And his support helped Max know he wasn’t facing the situation alone.
Get realistic. Trying to fit in with the popular crowd usually just makes you feel worse. Decide whether you’re shopping for a friend or a status symbol!
Get friendly. Your job is less to get friends than to be a friend. Max decided to put his energy into befriending others and quit trying to convince everyone to like him.
Max found new friends when he looked for others who were on the outside looking in. It turned out the guys he thought were losers were just as unfairly left out as he was. His new friendships didn’t happen overnight. But they happened because he took small, planned steps toward friendships.
TALK: How are you doing in your friendships? How can you gain friends by being a friend?
PRAY: Jesus, help us be the kind of friend to others that you have been to us.
ACT: Almost everyone would like more friends. What one thing do you want to do today to be a better friend to someone?