“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
Proverbs 11:25 NLT
The good deeds of a friendship include carefully studying what those could and should be and how they could benefit your friend. It’s easy to be on the receiving end of a good deed but forget to be a giver of them. It’s also easy to get comfortable in a relationship, take it for granted, and forget to look for what you might be able to give.
Even the simplest gestures of acknowledgment toward a friend make a huge impact. And when those gestures continue, year after year, you’ve got something really special going.
When we’re younger, it hardly occurs to us what we’re taking in any relationship. Friendships tend to be a little easier when we’re young because, frankly, we’re not thinking a whole lot about balance. But as we grow and mature, physically and spiritually, we begin to see the world differently. As we spend more time in the Word of God and allow it to saturate us, our perspective eventually flips to where we’re prepared to give more than we take. Applying an attitude of servanthood to our friendships will only strengthen them.
If you’re longing for better, deeper relationships, be willing to do things that are uncomfortable or inconvenient. Know a friend is moving? Ask if you can help. Heard their fence blew down? Bring some tools and pitch in to hammer up a few slats. Learn a friend is sick with whatever’s going around? Pick up their favorite coffee and leave it on their doorstep. Make the investment.
Remember that real investment will always be inconvenient. Some people are created with personalities that compel them to never stop doing things for others. The rest of us, not so much. Perhaps it takes work to leave your house and go serve someone else. But making an investment in the life of someone you think is worthy of championing will likely pay off in great ways down the road.
Think about what in your life keeps you from making sacrifices you know would bless a friend. Is it money? TV time? Introversion? Ask the Lord to help you set aside comfortable things and spaces so you can learn to enrich your friendships by serving others.