Sis. Shannon Shafer
Especially for Young People
Friends: we all like to have them. We all have people in our lives that are special to us; people who we like to spend time with and who make us laugh.
Friend: “One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect, and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity; opposed to enemy or foe.”1
The Bible has a lot to say about friendship, some of which is found in the book of Proverbs. Every young person would do well to spend time studying the scriptures in this particular book.
Proverbs 8:1 says, “Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?”
When in need of wisdom, look no further than the Word of God, for God Himself is the author and He created you, therefore He knows what will help you. Many books of wisdom have been written by many authors, but none compare to the Word of God.
Proverbs 18:24 offers a very good piece of advice about how to make friends. Sometimes you may find yourself in an awkward situation when starting a new job, attending a new school, or taking a special class where you don’t know anyone or have any friends there. It is human nature to desire to have friends, and to want to be liked. The scripture tells us, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
The first thing you must do is show yourself friendly. Smile easily, make eye contact, be thoughtful, be easily entreated, show kindness and give compliments.
Friendly: “Having the temper and disposition of a friend; kind; favorable; disposed to promote the good of another.”2
Use your manners and look and smell nice. Bold and brassy, or carelessly dressed people are not well looked upon. Put yourself together when you get dressed in an attractive manner and style your hair. You may not be able to afford expensive clothes, but many nice, used clothes, even name brands, can be found at a thrift store. It is a fact that when you are neatly dressed you will feel much more confident about yourself and your ability to make friends. We live in a world where it is a common, everyday occurrence to see people going about in public with messy hair, wearing pajamas. This does nothing to boost self-esteem.
Consider yourself worthy of a friend. Self-esteem is important for a young person to have. God loves you and He wants you. There are certainly others in this world who will want to be your friend.
The other kids at school can sometimes be cruel, but there will always be mean people in the world. The important thing that you must do is let their comments roll off you and don’t take them personally. Pray about them, cast them on God, and don’t let them impact the way that you feel about yourself. This applies particularly to girls whose modest attire makes them stand out from the crowd.
If on the job, work hard and present a good work ethic. I was instructed once to always look busy even if I wasn’t. As a young person I worked at a grocery store, and if there were no customers to assist, I could always wash windows, sweep the floor, or make sure items on the shelves were in place. Because of this, those who were in charge were not just my bosses, but my friends.
Above all, pray that God will help you to make friends. The end of Proverbs 18:24 says “…and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” God will always be there to help you.†
1,2. Webster, Noah (1828) Dictionary of the English Language