Last week at WNW was part 2 in the "Threads" series focusing on our friendships. We began with a worship set that included: "God's Not Dead" (Newsboys), "Marvelous Light" (Charlie Hall), and "Scandal of Grace" (Hillsong United).
I did a brief review of the previous week and encouraged the students to continue to thinking about the friends they are surrounding themselves with. We looked once again at Proverbs 13:20 to think about wise friends vs foolish friends. Early in youth ministry when students would come to talk to me about different things they were facing I always felt like I had to have the answer for them. While at times I will have words of encouragement and even correction, the main thing I learned is that they simply needed someone to listen to them. We looked at James 1:19 that tells us to be "quick to hear." We all need someone in our life who cares enough about us to listen to us when we need them. We need someone who is wise enough to "be present" when we need to talk and not simply waiting on their turn to speak. We all have had conversations with someone who is obviously not hearing what we are actually saying. This can be extremely frustrating.
When thinking about having a friend who will be there to listen to us when we need them, it is extremely important that they have a close walk with God. If they are not walking with God, how could we expect them to listen to us and be there for us when we need them to be? The problem can sometimes lie in that we cannot force anyone to be we we need them to be. So what do we do? We must realize that in order to have the right kind of friend, we must first be the right kind of friend. If we want someone to listen to us, we must be willing to listen. First, to God (Psalm 46:10) and also to others.
I know in my own life I am extremely grateful to close friends who have been willing to listen to me when I needed to talk whether it was share my struggles, what I am seeking God about, my frustrations, etc. I am thankful that God has placed these people in my own life and want to be that to them as well.