One of the things on my bucket list is to visit the huge redwood trees in California.
These trees are considered the largest living things on earth and the tallest trees in the world.
Some of them are over 300 feet high and over 2,500 years old.
You would think that with these trees being so large and being in an area prone to storms and earthquakes, they would have a tremendous root system, reaching down hundreds of feet into the earth.
But they don’t.
In fact, most of their roots are found only in the top 3 feet of soil.
How can roots that only go down 3 feet support a tree over 300 feet high?
The answer is that while the roots are shallow . . . they are very wide. And they intertwine.
A redwood tree can extend its roots over 50 feet around itself. And as it does so, it intertwines its roots with the roots of the trees around it.
So, when the storms come, the harsh winds blow, and the ground beneath them begins to shake . . . the redwood trees don’t stand alone. Because they know they are stronger together. Holding onto each other for support and protection.
And the same is true for all of us.
How will we stay strong and be able to withstand the storms of life? The times when it feels like the ground is shaking underneath us and life tries to knock us down to our knees? The times when it feels like we are losing everything?
By finding some really, good friends.
People we can do life with. People who will stick by our side. Even on our darkest night.
Unfortunately, for many of us . . . we lack these kinds of friendships.
Making Friendships a Priority
For some people, friendships are hard. We don’t want to admit we need help. And we find it difficult to reach out.
Friendships for us are hard. But we need to learn to make them a priority. To become willing to be vulnerable and to do what we can to seek out friendships.
For other people, friendships seem to come easy. And these people need to do what they can to keep nurturing those friendships. To not let busyness or distractions get in the way.
And maybe even do what they can to reach out to help the people who aren’t as great with friendships.
If being a friend is easy for you, you can help the rest of us come out of our shells and learn from you.
But whether friendships come easy for us or not, we ALL need to make them a priority.
Because without good friendships in our lives, we will end up trying to do life on our own.
And this is not a good thing.
The problem is that too often we treat friendships as a luxury . . . when in reality, they are a necessity.
What is the value of true friendship?
We were made for community. The value of true friendship is that when we have friends in our lives we have someone to walk with. Someone to talk with. And someone to share life with.
Knowing we are not alone is one of the greatest feelings.
It helps us find hope and encouragement to keep going when life gets hard.
There are many positive effects of friendship. Because friends can help us grow. Develop. Mature. And find the help and resources we need to go for our dreams.
What is the most important thing in a friendship?
The most important thing in a friendship is whether they share your faith in the Lord. The importance of choosing good friends cannot be overstated.
We are influenced heavily by the people around us, so we need to make sure the people around us share our beliefs.
While it is okay to have non-Christian friends, our closest and deepest friendships should be within the body of Christ.
Other Christians can spur us on in our walk with God. They can call us out when they see us falling astray. They can help us grow in the Lord. Encourage us when we feel weak. Help us through the hard times of life.
And most importantly, they can encourage us in our faith.
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”-1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV
10 Reasons Why Friends Are Important
There are many reasons why we need friends. And many benefits of friendship. But the following 10 reasons why friends are important reveal why having good friends can completely change our lives.
Because we all need good friendships in our lives to truly thrive.
1) Why Friends Are Important: Because we need community.
In our culture friendships seem to be quite lacking.
We may have hundreds of followers on social media. But we don’t have many people we can share life with.
I heard a story once of a village where all the women washed their clothes down together by the river. As technology in the area advanced though, most of the women were able to get their own washing machines.
And shortly afterward, there was a sudden outbreak of depression.
The problem wasn’t the washing machines. The problem was that they were no longer spending time doing things together. The decreased time in community with one another led to increased feelings of loneliness and depression.
In our culture, we don’t depend on each other to do laundry, cook dinner, or raise babies anymore. And if we’re honest, we don’t really depend on each other for anything.
And this is our downfall.
The truth is we were created for community. And the only way to create community is to gather people around us.
People we can be friends with. Collaborate with. Depend on. And share life with.
2) Why Friends Are Important: Because it’s not good for us to be lonely.
In Brene Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness” she says that being lonely affects the length of our life expectancy in the same way smoking 15 cigarettes a day does.
Which is crazy to think about!
But even the National Institute of Health says this:
“Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.”-National Institue of Health
And the United States Surgeon General released a statement on what they call the loneliness epidemic in our country, which says:
“Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health. Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives.”-U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy
To drive this point home even further, research has shown that:
- Loneliness has been listed as one of the number one fears of young people.
- 42% of women are more scared of being alone than of a cancer diagnosis.
- And yet only 1/3 of adults say they feel loved and cared for.
The truth is we all need good friends in our lives. To walk with us through our hard times. And we all need to be a good friend for someone else sometimes.
Because with numbers like these, more than likely there is someone around you who is hurting, lonely, and in desperate need of a good friend.
3) Why Friends Are Important: Because we need a shoulder to cry on.
We have all suffered in this life. We have all faced heartache and pain. And whether we want to admit it or not, we all long to have someone walk through it with us.
The devil wants to use our seasons of suffering to isolate us. To weaken us and get us all alone so he can take us out.
But the Lord can use our tears to unite us.
To remind us that we are not alone. We’re all in this hard thing called life together.
He can use others to help us stand when we’re feeling weak. And when we’re feeling strong, He can use us to help support the ones around us who are suffering.
4) Why Friends Are Important: Because we all need help sometimes.
For a very long time after my diagnosis, I kept pushing myself and my body to the limits. While hiding the truth of how awful I felt from everyone else. Because even though I felt like I had the flu almost every day, I was getting stuff done.
And I didn’t want to have to ask anyone for help.
For example, one day in late spring, I was working on cleaning up my landscaping and planting the flowers my husband and I had recently bought. It was rather warm out that day which never is good for my health, but I kept pushing through.
I could have asked for help to trim the bushes or pull some weeds. But I didn’t. I was stubbornly determined to get it all done . . . by myself.
My husband, who sometimes knows me better than I know myself, told me I should take it easy, rest for a while and finish the rest later. I ignored him and kept going. Until I stood up to grab another plant and nearly passed out in the process.
I sat down and took a few deep breaths to settle my dizziness. And then I crawled inside to lay down on the couch for a few hours.
And proceeded to feel pretty terrible for the next 3 days.
The truth is we all need help sometimes. so, it perfectly okay to admit we can’t do it on our own. That we are really struggling. And right now, we could really use some help.
5) Why Friends Are Important: Because we are stronger together.
Think about this. Let’s say I have a bunch of pencils in my hand. Together in a group, it would be almost impossible for me to break them all.
However, if I pulled one out from the group. Well, then it’s a lot easier to break just that one pencil.
And by pulling them out one by one . . . I could slowly but surely break them all.
In the same way, the enemy knows if he can get us alone, if he can pull us away from the protection of others . . . it will be much easier for him to break all of us.
One by one.
This is why friendships are so important. We were never meant to do this life alone.
Because we are so much stronger together.
6) Why Friends Are Important: Because it helps to know someone understands.
Sometimes God sends us a friend who understands what we’re going through. Because they have been there, too.
These are the friends who we feel like we can really relate to.
Hearing their own stories of suffering reminds us that we are not alone. It’s comforting to know someone understands what we are going through. Someone else gets it.
And the encouragement of having someone with us who gets the journey we’re on makes it a little easier to keep going.
7) Why Friends Are Important: Because they can encourage us in our calling.
We see this in the story of David and Jonathan.
David served under King Saul. Who had a son named Jonathan. And during the time David spent serving the king, he became good friends with Jonathan.
Now the issue with this is that David had been anointed by the prophet Samuel as King of Israel. But Saul was still on the throne acting as the king. And Jonathan was his son.
Which means Jonathan was the next in line to inherit the throne.
But Jonathan didn’t let what was rightfully his, at least in the eyes of man, stop him from doing what was right according to the Lord.
Jonathan knew God had chosen David to be the next king. And so, Jonathan laid aside his rights in order to help his friend avoid certain death.
He defied his own father and risked his own life to save his friend. He encouraged David to keep following God’s will for his life. To stay true to what God had called him to.
Now, most of our friends won’t ever have to save us from death. (Thank goodness!) But we may face spiritual opposition, doubts, and obstacles as we try to do what God has called us to do.
And having good, Christian friends around us during those times will encourage us to keep walking by faith. To not let our fear or discouragement get in our way. And to keep doing what God has called us to do anyway.
They can encourage, support, and inspire us to keep going when everything seems to be going wrong.
And they can cheer us on as we keep following God’s will for our life . . . even when it’s hard.
8) Why Friends Are Important: Because they can help us practically.
Another story of friendship is seen between Moses and Aaron.
One day the Israelites were battling the Amalekites. And as long as Moses’s hands were raised above his head holding his staff, the Israelites were winning.
But when his hands lowered down, they would start losing.
Well, of course, after so long his hands grew weary from holding the staff above his head. And so, Aaron stepped up to help Moses in his time of need.
Aaron got another man named Hur to come with him. And between the two of them, they helped Moses keep the staff raised until the Israelites had won the battle.
Sometimes God sends us a friend to help us with a heavy burden we must carry. They come alongside us to help us in practical ways.
These are the friends that:
- Send gift cards in the mail.
- Buy groceries.
- Make meals.
- Help watch kids.
- Buy us coffee, listen to us vent, and pray over us.
Friends like these can help us practically when we are in a really tough season and the weight of it all becomes too much to carry.
9) Why Friends Are Important: Because they can call us out when we’re wrong.
We need really good, Christians friends because we are often blind to our own sins, weaknesses, and character flaws. And they can call us out on them.
True friends love us too much to leave us as we are.
So, they will lovingly and respectfully point out the things we need to address. The areas we need to improve. The lies we are believing. And the truth in God’s Word.
These are the friends who help us stay accountable to live faithful lives that honor the Lord.
Which is what we all desperately need.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”-Proverbs 27:17 NIV
10) Why Friends Are Important: Because they can keep pointing us to Jesus.
We need good, Christian friends who will keep pointing us to Jesus. Who will remind us of who we are in Him. The many promises He has made to us.
And the truths in His Word we tend to forget.
There are so many things vying for our attention. So, many ways the enemy of our souls can trip us up. That is why we desperately need people who will keep pointing us back to Jesus.
A Prayer for Friendships
We thank You for the gift of each other.
We ask that you bless our interactions with one another and allow us to grow closer. And help us to remember that we really are stronger together.
May our friendships be a source of strength and comfort for all of us. Especially in the storms of life. We ask all these things in the precious name of Jesus.
How Do You Find Good, Christian Friends?
Good, Christian friendships don’t just happen.
We have to go looking for them. We have to spend time cultivating them.
And to be honest, it won’t be easy.
In fact, I can guarantee it’s going to be hard.
Because it takes vulnerability to be a friend. It takes time and effort. You have to reach out. Take a risk. You have to learn how to be honest. How to speak up and tell the truth in love. And you have to be willing to be hurt.
Because people are messy.
People are sinful. And selfish. And if you spend enough time around people, you’re going to get hurt.
Just like the people who spend enough time around you. (Yes, you’re going to hurt them, too.)
So, you’re going to have to learn how to forgive . . . like a lot.
You’re going to have to put in a lot of effort. Because friendships don’t just happen.
You’re going to have to make them a priority and do what you can to create the opportunity for friendships to grow.
But in the end, you’ll be glad you did all of this.
Because you’ll find some really good friends.
People you can do life with. Even when life gets messy. And you will be much better off because of them.
We were never meant to do this life on our own.
Because we are so much stronger together.
If you find this inspiring, then please share it so it can inspire others, too.
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