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The best friends you could ever have are those who are genuinely heavenly-minded. They know this world is not their home, and they are not driving their stakes down as though this is all that matters.
These friends are not disconnected from the realities of this life because they are always seeking to connect with others so they can show their friends a better way to enjoy life as they await their new life with Christ.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)!
1 – Pray – The first thing to do is make your requests known to God. Tell Him about your desire for a friend. Express to Him your need for customized soul care. Let Him know what He already knows about you, that you need help from others.
2 – Expect – Petition the Lord every day and throughout your day. Ask God to bring people into your life who are willing to love you well. And “add to your prayer” a God-centered expectation for Him to give you this desire of your heart.
3 – Look – If you regularly pray this way and expect God to come through for you, start looking for your new friends. You will find them. God will put you in front of people who have a similar burden and passion as you.
4 – Agree – Let the person know what you are looking for and how you want to do life together. See if the individual has a similar passion as you. There are many Christians in our churches looking for this kind of biblical friendship, but they are afraid to take the initiative.
5 – Discern – You will quickly know if you have an authentic person “on the line.” Listen to how they talk about themselves. Are they willing to talk less about the weather or their favorite sports team and more about God?
6 – Mutual – Do they have a genuine interest in you? You are not looking for a counselee whose only interest is sharing their problems. You want a friend, a partner, a person who is willing to come alongside you.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).
7 – Create – Set up several contexts for care. Start a small group if you have found enough of these types of friends. If it is only one, meet for coffee. Begin building a relationship. Your small talk will lead to in-depth conversations.
8 – Share – Lead by letting others into the secret places of your life. Be appropriate. Lead them with your humble and transparent example. If you want them to be open, honest, and transparent, demonstrate to them how to be that kind of friend by your self-disclosure.
9 – Care – As they begin to open up to you, give them your care. Let your friends experience your attention, wisdom, and friendship. You do for them what you want your friends to do to you.
10 – Persevere – These relationships should be long-term, sincere, and intentional. Be warned: you will sin against each other, and you will forgive each other. After you offend and forgive each other, you will begin forging a wonderful relationship because iron sharpens iron.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).