How to Make Friends
Loneliness is a normal emotion that can spur us toward God and others. But when feeling lonely becomes a constant part of our lives, it can turn into a problem. But once we let the Lord meet our deepest need for emotional connection, we can begin to work on our interpersonal relationships. In this study, you'll learn about God's heart for you regarding companions, and you'll discover helpful tips for making friends.
A. Remember that God designed us for community.
After God made Adam, He said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him" (Gen. 2:18). Although the first man had God Himself as a friend, our Creator knew Adam would benefit from having a human companion. It's the Lord's will for you to have friends!
- What does Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 say about the benefits of having a friend?
- How can a godly friendship improve a person's walk with the Lord (Heb. 10:24-25)?
- According to James 5:16, what is a benefit of confessing our sins to a fellow Christian and praying together?
B. Be a loving, trustworthy, upbeat person yourself.
To have a friend, you should make sure you're the type of person who would be a good friend. As you read the Bible, look for verses that describe how we ought to treat one another. For example, Matthew 7:1 warns against being judgmental, but we are to admonish each other, serve each other, and bear each other's burdens (Rom. 14:13; 15:14; Gal. 5:13; 6:2).
- What does Proverbs say about friendship (Prov. 17:9; 19:6; 27:9)?
- What qualities of a good friend do you have? Which areas could you ask God to develop further in you?
Proverbs says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (27:6). In other words, we shouldn't just dismiss a trusted friend's comments as "mean" or "ridiculous."
- Over the years, what feedback have you received about yourself?
Pray for guidance to determine what, if anything, about the observations is true. Then ask God to help you become a better friend.
C. Get involved in group activities.
In order to make acquaintances that can grow into friendships, join a small group. A Sunday school class, Bible study, special interest club, or a sports or ministry team can be a great way to meet people who can become friends.
Consider that Jesus ministered to the masses, but He selected only 12 men as His disciples. Of those, only three of them became his best friends—Peter, James, and John.
- If you have a need for friends, what activity could you join in your church, community, or school?
- If you are already involved in an activity, which person would you like to get to know better? What can you ask him or her to do with you?
By initiating conversations and pursuing shared interests with others, you are far more likely to find the type of friendship that will be most fulfilling—one in which both people like and admire each other.
D. Reach out to others.
Our industrial-age culture has created more loneliness than perhaps any other era in history. The good news is that there is no shortage of lonely people for you to befriend.
Choose people you genuinely enjoy who also need or desire new friends. Don't limit yourself to those who fit your demographic profile. Consider Paul, a "Jew's Jew," who befriended and mentored Timothy, a younger man who was half Greek.
- How did Paul view Timothy (1 Cor. 4:17; Rom. 16:21)?
- When have you reached across demographic lines and found an unlikely friend?
Another way to conquer loneliness is by seeking to serve another person. There is always someone who is worse off than you are. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, keep your neighbor's kids for an hour, or visit the elderly neighbor who has no family nearby.
- Galatians 5:13 says, "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." List three ways—including small acts of service—that you could reach out to others.
Closing: God doesn't want you to be lonely. Ask Him to help you grow into the type of person who can be a good friend. Then take the initiative to reach out, and you'll discover many opportunities to develop godly relationships.
Prayer: Lord, help me be secure in Your unconditional love for me, so that I can face my weaknesses and find Your strength to change. Give me wisdom and courage to initiate interactions with others, and bless me with the friends You would like me to have. In Jesus' name, amen.
Being a Friend of God (Loneliness, Part 1)
Bible Study: Escaping loneliness begins with a meaningful connection to your Creator. Learn more in this study. Read more.
The Cure for Loneliness
People try to overcome loneliness in a variety of ways, but what's God's method?
Dr. Stanley has the answer. Read more.