Living in a more remote area of the UK, though I have six to seven close Christian girls who are my buddies, I don't see them face-to-face every day. But, I still see several per week, and keep in touch with the rest through Skype or e-mail. I believe that choosing the right friends is very important, so I might try to do several posts on this topic.
I am not a big fan of pink. Only in the last year have I self-consciously tried wearing a pink bracelet, and my pink shirt is mostly unused. Why? One of my friends, at age 10, decided she hated pink. Full stop. And it's stayed with me this long! How on earth did this happen? I simply wanted to be exactly like her, so I let her influence mean more to me than just being myself. And it's a hard habit to break, I know. So, be great friends with people - just don't copy their every move!
Friends also influence your life choices. Tough decisions can become clearer once you talk to a friend about them. With non-Christians, though, this should be far more limited; for example, if you are reaching out to a drug addict, but mention you feel depressed, guess what they will suggest you do? You need to be very careful about who you tell these things to.
We also need good relationships with our 'besties'. 😊(Romans 12:9-10). Friendship can be a rocky road (no, I did not say free cake!!), but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). I love quoting that verse! It has been a great help to me.
I recently received a travel journal from the US where girls wrote about themselves, then sent it on to a friend. One girl wrote this:
"Best friends...love you even when you're being irrational...let you take a bite of their dessert...make you laugh when you're crying...simply make life a lot more fun!"
I know all my friends fit this description, but even if yours don't, that does not make them less special. However, doing these things are helpful in building strong friendship bonds with others (yes, even sharing dessert! 😀).
When with non-Christians, try and have a Christian friend around aswell. This can help you both reach out whilst being able to stand firm in your convictions, with Godly support for both of you. Be kind, but firmly rooted in Jesus.
I hope this post has been helpful and you've learned a lot about true friendship.