Do you have trouble making friends? When you’re in a crowd, does panic grip your heart in a vise? Do you avoid church socials, ball games and birthday parties like the plague because you are uncomfortable in the midst of a lot of people … even people you know?
I’ve felt all of these emotions before. I’ve never been scared to talk to others, but sometimes, when there is a room full of people, I find my throat getting tight, and my breathing becoming irregular. I feel as if I have to get out of that room or I will pass out.
Because of these feelings, I hesitate to introduce myself to someone new or to spend time cultivating a new friendship. If you have the same problem, you might be interested to read a Bible verse I found. It helps me, and I know it will help you.
Second Timothy, chapter two, verse six says, “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”
I know … that sounds nothing like encouragement for making and keeping friends, right? But if we dig deeper and explore the meaning of the verse, it makes sense. There are four similarities between reaping the fruits of a wonderful harvest and gleaning new and lasting friendships.
The verse says the farmer who plants and cares for the crop is the one who reaps the harvest. A man who plows his field, plants the seed, destroys the weeds that try to overtake the tender growth, and irrigates the field with nourishing water and fertilizer is the one who profits from the results. Here are the way these actions can be applied to making and keeping friends.
- First of all, a person who prepares his heart for receiving friendship is like the farmer who plows his field and readies it for planting. He is readying his heart for accepting another friend and teaches it to be willing to listen and encourage any potential friend whom the Lord sends his way.
- Secondly, a person who finds a way to fulfill a need, offer a prayer, give a word of encouragement, or even just to listen to a casual acquaintance is like the farmer who sows the seeds into the prepared field. Seeds of love for that person are sown into that fertile soil of your heart which you have already prepared.
- Thirdly, a person who accepts a new friend without ridicule, sarcasm, selfishness or any negative thoughts is like the farmer who destroys the weeds that try to overtake the tender growth in his field. Friendship is hard to harvest when weeds of selfishness have choked it out—like kudzu choking out the life of anything it feeds upon.
- And finally, a person who shows unconditional aspects of love, (joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance) toward that new friend is like the farmer who irrigates the field with nourishing water and fertilizer. Love is just as important to friendship as water and fertilizer is to the crops in a farmer’s field.
So … if you have a hard time making new friends, try these four steps and see what a bountiful harvest you will reap.
The greatest rewards come to those who work the hardest.
To win the prize we must first win the race.