By Rebekah Robinson, The Rope Contributor
I had a lot of friends in college, and I still have quite a few. I once heard a quote saying if you had two good friends in your life, you’re doing better than basically everyone else in the entire world. I remember thinking, “That can’t be true. Look at all my study buddies/sorority sisters/weekend trip pals, etc.!”
I’m not that far removed from undergraduate life, but I do feel very removed from the desire to accumulate more unnecessary friendships. About this time last year, I would have thought that calling a friendship “unnecessary” was harsh and hardly Christ-like. The more the merrier, right?
But what is true friendship? It’s more than a cute Instagram “Happy Birthday” collage with a caption like, “Happiest of days to my soul sister, midnight fast food companion, and #twin for life.” I’m just as guilty of these kind of superficial shouts into the heartless realm of our unsocially social media outlets, so I hope I’m not coming across too pretentious. True friends are not outfits you throw on or change whenever you please. A true friend is also more than your ride to the airport at 5 a.m. or your stand-in mom at the doctor’s office.
Actually, a true — and by true I mean REAL — friend is another flawed human who will humbly call you out when you’re being a jerk or a fool or just plain uncaring. That’s the hardest part. If you have one person in your life that will always be your sharpening iron, be thankful.
Friendships don’t always feel good, and like any other human relationship they definitely aren’t perfect and completely fulfilling.
Remember, the friend that sticks closer than a brother, who lays down his life for you — That’s the only friendship that never fails.
No man is an island. We were made for communion with our Maker and our fellow souls. So, when you’re feeling like your friends just aren’t up to par or you’re in some weird popularity contest with yourself to see how many cool friends you can collect or you’re just sick of that one friend who likes to nag, think of Christ. Be the friend who puts the other first, who doesn’t expect favors in return and who loves when it just is not easy.
I’m often a miserable failure of a friend. I’m incredibly fortunate to have steady friends in my life who love me (deeply, not superficially) even when I’m especially unloving. What a gift it is to see Christ in them by their love for me! True friends challenge, fail, forgive and keep going. God uses our friendships to sanctify us, to bring us closer to Him. May we not pray for more surface-level, coffee shop friends, but rather truer, deeper intimacies that are modeled after Christ and His disciples. I pray that I’ll be deeper, not wider.
I pray that I will be a friend who loves at all times — a sister born for adversity.