Friendship for High Schoolers
A couple weeks ago I spoke about friendship to a youth group of high school girls. I shared about how friendship, at its best, is a gift from God. Here is an outline of what I shared:
The story of Ruth and Naomi, and how God used Ruth to rescue Naomi.
They were both different in age, culture, and social status, but they didn’t let comparison get in the way.
Comparison is the biggest roadblock to authentic friendship. No one wins the comparison trap.
Their friendship was authentic. When one was down, the other was up. One set aside her status for the sake of the other, and one didn’t let comparison, bitterness, or envy of the other’s social status get in the way.
When comparison gets in the way of authentic friendship, we focus on ourselves and become isolated because we are too worried about how we don’t measure up.
Steps to overcoming comparison: Confession. Surrender. Gratitude. Celebrate.
Authentic friendship is a deep-rooted friendship in which we can be ourselves—fully loved and accepted. Authentic friendship offers space to be honest and grace to give second chances. It encourages deep and connected conversations, and asks hard questions without judgement, guilt, or shame. Authentic friends call out the good they see in us, inspiring us to be the best version of ourselves.
The most meaningful friendships I’ve had have taken the most work.
Authentic Friendship means Calling Each Other Up, Not Out
Point out their giftedness, speak life and hope into them, show them where Jesus is mighty in them.
Authentic Friendship Sees the Good and speaks the good.
Proverbs 16:28: A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Unhealthy friendships. Do you have any friendships in your life that are bringing you down? Making you feel like you aren’t good enough? Pressuring you to be someone you’re not? Seek His wisdom and strength.
For everything there is a season. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to keep and a time to throw away… Ecclesiastes 3 NLT
You don’t need one best friend. It’s okay to have several friendships, and it’s normal for friendships to change throughout high school.
I stopped investing my energy into that particular friendship, and invested my energy into meaningful friendships.
Honor God With Your Friendships
Ask God to help you be a good friend. Ask Him for strength and a pure heart. He will equip you to be the sister in Christ that your friends need. Forgive your friends when they hurt you, and ask for forgiveness when you’ve hurt them. We are human, and we will all get hurt and hurt others in our relationships. But God will heal and restore them if we seek Him.
Where do you find yourself today? Feeling like you don’t measure up, stuck in the trap of comparison? Alone, hoping God will bring meaningful friendships into your life? Or maybe you are overwhelmed with gratitude because of the gifts of friendship that God has provided. Can you seek ways to love your friends out of a place of abundance?
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.