Bible Reading: Proverbs 18:24
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
LOOK AT THESE guaranteed ways to gather a crowd and get new friends:
1. Throw a party and give away your parents’ credit cards as door prizes.
2. Let the kid who sits next to you snooze through school — while you cheerfully do all of his homework, write all of his papers, and take all of his tests.
3. Hack into the school PA system and announce that you’ve booked the world’s hottest band for the next school dance.
4. Drag a crate of Twinkies to school and fling them to the crowds.
Any of those would get you friends, but not friends who will last. There’s a better approach to finding friends:
- Start with being yourself. If you’re not real in your relationships you have to pretend every day to be somebody you are not.
- Get involved. Relationships start the most easily in small groups.
- Be open. Be willing to have relationships with people different from you. Deciding ahead of time how your perfect friend should look or act will keep you from some valuable friendships.
- Don’t grump. If you always look like your cat was just pancaked by a truck — unless it was — people will avoid you.
- Talk to people. Every person you speak to is a potential friend.
- Ask questions. Almost everybody likes to talk about himself or herself. Get it? People will think you are fun to talk to if you invite them to talk.
- Look interested. Suppose you meet the most boring person on the planet. Show interest. Listen. Look him in the eyes and ask questions. Maybe that person isn’t as boring as you thought.
- Don’t be a bore. If people doze off as you expound on the fundamental principles of applied thermodynamics and kinetics, consider changing the subject — no matter how interesting it is to you.
- Don’t give up. You might suffer embarrassment and even rejection as you seek out new friends. But don’t let anything keep you from trying. After all, Christ didn’t give up on the human race — even when we spit on him, whipped him, and nailed him to the cross. He persisted. And he turned us into friends.
REFLECT: Who in your world might make a good new friend? What can you do to get to know him or her?
PRAY: God, teach me how to reach out and make new friends. Help me make friends by being a friend.