Lessons from My 20s: Friendship

Now that I am a mature 30 year old I decided to do a series on lessons I've learned from my 20s (please read that sarcastically). More than anything this is an opportunity for me to reflect and remember so many of the things the Lord had taught me this past decade. Most of these lessons have been learned through lots and lots of failure. Most of these things I still have to work really hard to try to live out. None of these things have been perfected. Simply learned and trying to become. See intro post here and check the bottom of this post for other topics.  

Laugh often. There is a time to be serious, but be around those who make you laugh. It is just so very good for your soul. 

Just because you are well known and know a lot of people doesn’t mean anyone really knows you well. Allow people to get to know you. It’s ok to be vulnerable.  

People will disappoint you. No one is perfect. Have realistic expectations of others and don’t expect them to live up to those expectations. Love them anyway. 

Some friendships just need to end. Don’t fight it. Be grateful for the memories and the lessons. They may come back around, and they may not and that’s ok. 

Friendships require just as much effort as anything else that is worth it. Make the effort. 

Be open to how you can improve, let that be your focus. Don’t focus on how the other should improve. 

You can’t change others but you can change yourself. 

Conflict isn’t drama, it is real life. Sometimes, especially for Christians, we consider conflict to be “satan’s working.” I couldn’t disagree more. Sometimes it is. But we shouldn’t just label it as that and ignore it. If it’s satan, then fight it. If it’s just a trial, well we grow through trials. Face them head on. But when you face them head on, hold tight to Jesus and love as He would through it. 

Let others love you. It’s okay for friends to ask how you are, they want to hear it. Friends that don’t stop to make sure you answer more than, “I’m ok” just aren’t super close friends. Don’t try to make them more than that. But the ones that stop and say, “No, really, how are you?” and don’t budge. 

Rejoice when others rejoice. Being jealous of what others have is such a waste of time and a killer of a friendship. I’ve heard it said many times over the years that “When you are envious of what others have look at all they have. You've got to take it all.” This simple perspective has killed jealousy time and time again. 

The impression others give of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and often even in person, usually isn’t the real them. Look for friendships who show you the dirty dishes, the greasy hair, the fussy toddler, etc. Being honest is more important than being perfect. 

Don’t spend significant time with gossips. Confront it when you see it. Remove yourself from it. Love them, yes. But know those who gossip have nothing useful to offer you. They are insecure and just want to pull others down. 

With not being a gossip: make sure other's names are safe in your mouth. Meaning, speak well of others. If you have something derogatory to say about another person, shut your mouth and confess your thought.  Choose to speak gracefully and loving of others. 

“Seeking wise council” and “sharing a prayer request” can often be gossip. Be very careful falling into this way of sharing because it is not healthy or godly. 

Be the kind of friend you want others to be. 

Spend significant time with those you want to be more like. If you aren’t currently friends with people you admire, then seek out new friendships. Make the effort to connect with girls you look up to. 

Even adults can get sucked up into being popular. Don’t do this. You will look (and feel) like a teenager. 

Text and email less. Call and visit more. 

What about you? What has been some of the best lessons you've learned on friendship? 

For more lessons from my 20s check out this topics: 
Intro to this series (click here)
Friendships (click here)
Singleness, Dating, & Marriage (click here)
Pregnancy & Kids (coming soon!)
Education & Working (coming soon!)
Walking with God (coming soon!)
Self Esteem & Body Image (coming soon!)
Serving & Leading (coming soon!)