How To Have Meaningful Friendships
“Hey, how are you?”
“I’m good, how are you?”
How many times during one day do you think you have this type of interaction? I counted today. It was 14.
Very little irritates me more than this exchange between two people. It tells the listener absolutely nothing about how you actually are, because 90% of the time, saying, “I’m good” is a false statement.
I lied 14 times that day to the people around me.
It has become my knee-jerk reaction. I don’t think before answering the question, “How are you?” I immediately respond, “Good!” with a forced smile upon my face (in a previous post I discuss the root of why we always pretend we’re “good”).
For the vast majority of my life, I lived in shame and darkness. Fearing my shame would be exposed. Hiding what was actually going on in my life. I was afraid of REALLY being known. This was an easy way to live because saying, “I’m good” to my peers was not something they questioned. It’s not something we ever question. This caused me to live in darkness and bondage for a decade. Lack of intentionality in community can do a great deal of harm that you may not realize.
I recently shared my story with a dear friend. She initiated the conversation, not me. She asked me to tell her how The Lord revealed Himself to me. How He brought me out of sin and darkness, and into life. How He radically changed my life. She wanted to know me. One of the deepest longings of the human heart is to be loved. In order for someone to love you deeply, they have to know you; know your heart, your story, your passions, your shortcomings, and your strengths.
“To be known is to be loved. To be loved is to be known.”
In being asked to share that night, I realized how beautiful my story really is. It’s not a shameful, ugly, tainted, worthless story. It’s one of victory, undeserved grace, and God ordained transformation.
Community exists to refine and encourage our faith. It requires transparency and authenticity. Deep relationships flourish in the midst of transparency.
True friends view you just as God does. They don’t view you as a defiled body, but as a buried treasure. When they look at you they don’t see your sin, they see Jesus; they see grace, they see a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.”
1. Next time someone asks you how you are, I challenge you to pick a different adjective than good or fine to respond with. Tell them how you’re actually doing.
2. Don’t accept the response “I’m good” from your friends.
3. Be an intentional friend.
4. Ask more questions. Give fewer answers.
5. Put the needs of others above yours.
Do you really know your friends?