Updated: Nov 16, 2021
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." — Luke 6:31 (NIV)
I used to use the word "friend" very freely, but now I know everyone is not your true friend.
When I was in college, I designed a collection for my school's fashion show every year. The night before the show my junior year, a few of the other designers and I pulled an allnighter in the sewing lab on campus.
After staying awake for 24hrs, I was still working on my collection from the day of the show until 3 pm. I needed to be at the venue by 5 pm.
Time was running out, and I had to drop off the collection at the venue and go home to change my clothes. I managed to get ready for the event (very) quickly and rushed back to unpack the garment bag I dropped off earlier.
And that's when I realized it. I forgot one of the garments in the sewing lab. There was no way that I could dress the models, leave, and then get back in time for the show.
I was stressed.
Actually, that's an understatement—I was practically having an anxiety attack. The fashion shows in college were like the Super Bowl for fashion majors.
Who could I call that would drop everything to help me? I started gasping for air, and then one person came to mind—my friend Steve. So I called him and verbally vomited on him with my problem.
He cut me off and said, "Maggie, I'm already on my way there."
You see, I was reluctant to call Steve because he was busy with an event on campus for his fraternity. But he was the first person I thought of that I knew without a doubt would help me.
And without any hesitation, he left his fraternity's event and hopped on his skateboard to save my night. That was the moment I knew that Steve was the definition of a true friend.
That was also the moment I knew I wasn't.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." — Luke 6:31
A few years ago, someone asked me if I was stranded in the middle of the night who would I call? And who would call me if they were stranded?
I was silent for a while. I came up with at least five people who I would call, but I couldn't think of one person who would call me.
In my "be right back Christ" years, I wasn't a good friend. I don't think I was a bad person or anything, but I was selfish at times.
I would never say no to a friend in need, but I wouldn't offer my assistance unless asked. And if I did ask, it wasn’t because I wanted to help, it was because I felt obligated to do so.
Although I often called people my friends, I was far from the kind of friend who God wants us to be.
I love the story of David and Jonathan in the Bible. Saul was the first king of Israel, and Jonathan was his son. Jonathan was next in line for the throne, but God already called David to be the next king.
Even though Jonathan knew that David would be the next king instead of him, he befriended him. As the story goes, Saul wanted to kill David, but Jonathan helped him escape.
Jonathan was loyal to David and put himself at risk to help him. He was a true friend.
I felt like Humpty Dumpty—broken—when I realized that no one would call me in an emergency. No one (that I could think of) trusted me to be there for them because I was self-centered.
Only God could fix the mess of the person who I had become.
So, I prayed and asked God to help me become a good friend—a loyal and trusted friend like Jonathan and my bro Steve. And slowly but surely, He’s helped me (and is still helping me).
I had many fake friends over the years and learned that I had to become a good friend if I wanted some.
One of the most important things you can do, next to giving your life to Christ, is joining Him in His work. Are you praying for things but not becoming the kind of person who can receive the things you're praying for?
What kind of friend are you? You may or may not have always been a good friend, but let God mold you into a great friend.
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." - Philippians 1:6
May God's Word be a continual source of hope and truth for your soul.
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You were born to do great things.
**This message was originally created on 4/17/18 and updated on 2/16/21