There’s a very sensitive word that many people use too loosely in casual conversation. In fact, it’s so common, sometimes it just slips out when we don’t intend it. The one word used as a place-filler that sounds awkward if not used in the right context. You know, the “F” word. Friend. The colleague from […]

Are You Using The Word ‘Friend’ Too Loosely ?

There’s a very sensitive word that many people use too loosely in casual conversation. In fact, it’s so common, sometimes it just slips out when we don’t intend it. The one word used as a place-filler that sounds awkward if not used in the right context. You know, the “F” word.
Friend.
The colleague from work. Your roommate. A classmate. Even that one person you’ve known for years who has been there during major milestones in your life. This person, or people, entered your life for a reason, right? They’ve came to every birthday party, sit with you during your lunch break, and have even pulled all-nighters with you for your college exams. You share laughs, have fun, and are completely comfortable around them. They know you.
Yet, there was that one situation at work when you got that promotion and your friend didn’t congratulate you. Or that other time when your car broke down and no one came or offered to help. And that year you were dealing with a death in the family, yet never received a phone call from anyone.
There are many people in our lives who we’ve accepted as and consider “friends,” who definitely have been there for the good times, yet lack those friendship traits and qualities when you need them the most. Sometimes we place expectations on people close to us who were never meant to be there. It’s not that they’re bad people, it’s just that they’re not truly your friends.
Jesus had many “followers.” Hundreds of people traveled to see Him, listened to Him, and received healing from Him. He had twelve disciples who ate, slept, and spoke with Him daily. There were people who were literally there for every teaching, witnessed every miracle, and who knew He was the Son of God. But some of their hearts were far from His.
[Proverbs 18:24] “There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”
If you pay close attention to Scripture, there were only three out of the twelve disciples who Jesus spent the most time with, who He asked to accompany Him when He was deeply distressed [Matthew 26:36-46], and who He allowed to see Him in His truest form [Matthew 17:1-8].
Everyone can’t be in your circle. It’s natural to feel a type of loyalty to those who’ve been in our lives for a long period of time, but that doesn’t mean they’re our friends. Some people are only meant to be in your life for a season, vice versa, or to serve a purpose that only God knows. But people who disappoint you and drain you emotionally, financially, and even spiritually are not meant to be in your circle. Real friends will support you, correct you in love, and be there for you at your lowest. Christ said it best:
[John 15:13] “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Aside from your spouse, your inner circle needs to be people who love you, align with your purpose, truly know the calling on your life, and pour into you as much as you do for them. Anyone who uses you, frustrates you, and distracts you from your purpose is not a true friend. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to them or withhold sharing the Gospel with them, it just means that you’ve placed expectations on them that they will not meet.
I encourage you to reanalyze the relationships you have with people close to you and determine their role in your life. Ask God to reveal to you their character, intentions, and reason of being. Even if you discover you only have one true friend, you know it’s someone you can truly count on.

Ashley Cottrell

Ashley Cottrell

Interested in reading more of her work? Check out her blog: www.ashleyamor.com

With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.
Ashley Cottrell

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