A Prayer to Live as a Good Friend
By Emily Rose Massey
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”- Philippians 2:3-4, NASB
Since I was a young girl, I have struggled with having consistent and strong relationships with other girlfriends. I was far from being a part of the popular crowd, but I gave all my energy to make sure everyone liked me. I tried to fit into almost every group: the athletes, band nerds, theater troupe, art club, math club, and cheerleaders, but I always longed for a best friend. Any close friendship would unravel or fade away for different reasons- friends for a season, I guess.
This pain of rejection and grief over lost friendships has followed me well into adulthood, especially since becoming a Christ follower. Christ makes it clear in the Scriptures that we must love Him more than anyone or anything, even our own life. We must lay it all down to follow Him at all costs, but He promises life abundantly to those who sacrifice everything to pursue Him and His ways. We are to imitate Jesus in all areas of our life. His way of regarding relationships is one of selflessness and putting others first. Instead of being consumed with grief and frustration over why cultivating relationships with other women has been so difficult, I need to look to the Scriptures for a perspective shift. Paul bought some clarity to the Philippians regarding relationships that reflect Christ to the world:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, NASB).
Instead of wallowing in self-pity as to why no one seems to understand us (this is a lie that I used to believe anytime I faced rejection), we need to get our eyes off ourselves and begin to ask how we can be a good friend to someone else. The enemy wants us either in pride, thinking we are better off doing life our own way, or in isolation, bound in a pit of depression, unable to receive love or give out love, feeling like no one loves or cares. Instead of looking at how someone else can fill our “love tank” and meet our relational and emotional needs, we need to humble ourselves and look for opportunities to serve someone else with Christlike love, not needing anything in return.
This requires intentionality and alertness to the interest of others. When you meet someone new, do you spend more time talking about yourself, or do you ask more questions and listen? Being a good friend means becoming concerned with your friend’s well-being more than your own problems. This isn’t something that comes naturally, but it is a supernatural work of God in your heart. The more you lean into God’s grace, the more you will see growth and maturity in your heart and life and be able to love others as He does. God will sanctify us because He wants to see us conform to the image of Christ. One way this occurs is through studying the Scriptures and other spiritual disciplines such as prayer, serving others, and consistent discipleship and evangelism. The more we study the Bible and exercise spiritual discipline, the more the Holy Spirit renews our minds. This renewal of the mind helps us to think of Christ’s ways over our own. Our behavior and attitude begin to change, and God gives us the desire to love, obey, and serve Him fervently by loving Him and others with our whole hearts. May we be strengthened by God’s grace to walk Christlike in our friendships!
I need Your help to love others as You do. My pride often gets in the way, and I miss opportunities to be selfless because my unmet needs consume me. Help me to be humble and consider others more highly than myself. I also don’t want to look to others to know I am accepted. When I experience rejection, I know that you love me. Instead of allowing myself to grow bitter or cynical, help me be hopeful and have eyes to see new opportunities to be a good friend to someone who may need it much more. Thank You for working in my heart and giving me the grace to love selflessly and sacrificially. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/lorenzoantonucci
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!
Now that you’ve prayed, are you in need of someone to pray for YOU? Click the button below!
Visit iBelieve.com for more inspiring prayer content.