When I was in high school I knew I wanted to work in the psychology field because I wanted to help people who were hurting. I worked hard in college and graduate school to accomplish my career dream. However, once I was awarded my degree as a school psychologist I was surprised how unfulfilled I still felt. I had my dream career, but I didn’t have close friends. I thought because I was a psychologist I would naturally know how to build emotionally close relationships. So not true! Although I had been taught in school how to have empathy while working with a client, I had not learned how to build lasting friendships.
We can learn how to build real and lasting relationships by looking at how God builds relationships with us. Here are 3 ways from the Bible to build friendships that last.
1. Honest Talks
6 Yet, you desire truth and sincerity. Deep down inside me you teach me wisdom.
Psalm 51:6 (GW)
God wants us to be honest – honest about what’s deep down inside of us. How honest are you about the disappointments and hurts in your life, about things you feel like you can never change, and about things you are grateful for?
God just wants us to be sincere with him – not faking anything, not just trying to say the right thing but talking about what really lives inside of our hearts. Have you been having honest and sincere prayers? Do you leave your prayers feeling like you got everything out, like you gave God a complete picture of what you’re thinking and feeling?
It will be challenging to be honest with our friends if we aren’t honest with God first. I can often want to put my best foot forward with my friends because I want them only to see the “good” side of me, but that leaves me feeling insecure. The closest friends I have are the ones who know my embarrassing, shameful, and discouraging moments.
Does anyone know everything about you? What are the hardest thing for you to reveal in relationships?
9 Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. 10 If one falls, the other pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he’s in trouble.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (TLB)
How often do the words “I need help” come out of your mouth? You will have stronger and lasting relationships if you express your need for help!
According to the American Psychological Association, humility strengthens social bonds. People are more drawn to others who are honest about their weaknesses, rather than those who only boast about their strengths. We need friends to help us through the challenges in life. What can you ask a friend for help with today?
Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all? 2 Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. 4 Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing.
Philippians 2:1-4 (TLB)
Friendships are built when we think about others’ needs over our own. Think about your average day – what dominates your thoughts? Yourself or others? I’m often thinking about myself and what I need or want to get done that day. It takes self-control to slow ourselves down and cheer someone else up, help them, work together, and just think about someone else. People want to know that we’re interested in them, not just using them or ignoring them.
Who is someone in need around you that you can help today?
By committing ourselves to honesty, humility and helping others, we can learn how to build deeper and more lasting friendships.