You ever wish you had more friends? Me too. I’ve often been told, “The best way to get friends is to be a friend.” This is true. You’d be surprised at how many people feel the exact same way as you, wishing someone would come talk to them and be their friend. Some people seem to be natural initiators, they will talk to anyone and are instinctively friendly. For the rest of us, we have to learn how to do that.
So how do you learn to be a friend? Smile and introduce yourself to people. Don’t worry about if they will like you or not, assume they’re your friend and be friendly. Most people will respond to you the way you act towards them. If they seem friendly, take the next step and ask them to hang out. If they don’t seem friendly, that’s ok too! You won’t be friends with everyone.
Now, do you want just another shallow friendship or do you want to have a deeper friendship that is real, authentic and has a level of depth? With some friends, this happens naturally. With most, especially guys, things tend to remain surface level. So how do you go deeper? You do it on purpose. If you want your friendship to go deeper, you have to be intentional in how you approach conversation.
When you’re spending time with someone, be there. Be fully there. Meaning, don’t be on your phone and trying to talk. It doesn’t feel good to hang out with someone who would rather talk to people who aren’t there. Put away your phone, put it on silent and don’t look at it. This shows that you value the person you’re spending time with. When you’re talking, actually look them in the eye and show that you’re really listening.
Specifically, ask deeper questions. Show genuine interest in the other person by asking about their family and their childhood. Ask them when they were the happiest, or when they felt the most hurt. Ask them what their thoughts are on God. Ask about the biggest struggle their facing at the moment. Rarely will conversation go deeper on its own. If you want deeper friendships, you will need to take the initiative to ask deeper, thoughtful, meaningful questions.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- How can you be more intentional in conversations with your friends?
- Who in your life could you be friends with, with a little intentionality and courage?
PRAY: God, help me to be a friend to people. Give me the courage to ask deeper questions, to really be interested in people and to love them the way You love me.
John 15:1-17 (NLT) “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.