Recently I spoke about the importance of a good friend in life. I firmly believe we are uniquely created to be in meaningful relationship. Too much of Scripture evidences this truth. God shaped us with a specific relational capacity – the ability to know intimacy (meaningful relationship) with God and with other people. Unfortunately, we typically spend too much of life in social and spiritual isolation without fully realizing what we’re missing. We need meaningful relationships in order to rightly exist. Not only does our emotional health depend upon it, so does our spiritual health. So how do I change from relative isolation to meaningful relationship? You must first recognize your need to be in relationship and consequently make the choice to seek connection. Consider these as you begin or fine-tune your search:
- Pray asking God to reveal a potential friend or two. Ask Him for a name? Ask him to place someone in your path, a name on your heart, or for an opportunity to connect. Once you have a name, ask God for wisdom in the process.
- Before you ever approach a potential friend, prepare for rejection. Not everyone you approach is a best candidate. Some are already connected in meaningful relationships, maybe the timing isn’t right, or perhaps he or she isn’t interested in developing a friendship with you. It’s really okay and you can survive rejection. Real friendship is reciprocal. If the other person isn’t interested in friendship, continue the search. Don’t let rejection deter your search.
- Take the first step and risk an introduction. Don’t wait for someone else to approach you regarding friendship, act first. We can sit around waiting a long time for nothing to happen, so make something happen and introduce yourself to others.
- Discover a venue that invites conversation. Invite someone for coffee at Starbucks (a personal favorite) or meet up at Barnes & Noble. Maybe grab a quick sandwich at Red Robin or a dessert at Panera Bread Company. Find a place where discussion can happen. Invite a potential friend to play basketball, catch a sporting event, or workout at the Rec Center. Find a non-threatening place to get a conversation going. The dialogue will tell you much about the possibility of friendship.
- In the process of getting acquainted, foster opportunities to know each other. As you talk, look for commonalities, interests, differences, and backgrounds. What’s their story? Share your story. Is there a connection or potential friendship? If there is, continue the conversation while developing the connection.