Four Tips For Finding Friends

Image result for making friends

Core scripture“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” (1 Timothy 2:1)

Survey: I am always looking for new ideas for my blog and would likewise appreciate knowing the dynamics of my audience as the new school year begins.  If you would take time to fill out this short five-question survey, I would love your input!  Here is the link:

Message: Let’s rewind to the fall of 1989.  I was a brand new 7th grader in this foreign place called middle school, knowing two people in the entire school.  My brother, a measly 6th grader, and my old friend Kevin.  That was it.  Do you know what kind of pressure it is that first week?  To seek out the right friends?  To be in with the cool crowd?  Heck, just to be accepted!  I remember a kid in my first hour computers class invited me to sit with him at lunch.  Such a nice kid.  I found Tony later that day and was accepted into his group with open arms.  It didn’t matter that he was part of the not-so-popular crowd.  Those guys were open to anyone, and I was grateful.

Just a reminder that there is hope for those awkward middle school nerds—especially considering that same kid turned into the awesome stud before you right now. 😊

You know, it is truly amazing, but after all those years, I still have fears about being shut out by adult cliques that form around me.  Do you all ever feel the same?  Maybe it is my insecurities, but walking into faculty meetings that first week back sometimes gives me that déjà vu feeling.  Who will want to sit with me?  What do people think of me?  Thursday I will slide into my first faculty meeting of the 2018-2019 school year, and I hope I can wipe those thoughts clean of my head.  To be all in for Him, I need to get vertical with God in prayer and allow Him to guide my steps.  This is what He might be telling us to consider:

  1. Reconnect with old friends. There is nothing wrong with this!  Laugh with them.  Catch up on what happened over the summer.  Love on them.  Just try not to circle up, blocking out others from conversation.  Like my friend Tony above, allow others to slide in as needed.
  2. Meet new friends. Some things never change.  Just like students, all new faculty members crave some sort of acceptance.  Embrace them.  Get to know their names, AND use their names in conversation.  Plug them in to people they might hit it off with.  That person may be you!
  3. Invest time in the right relationships. Just like I tell my students, your personality molds into who you invest in.  Proverbs 18:24 states, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  The ones who stick close are the ones you want to truly devote your time to. Seek them out on a regular basis.
  4. Pray for everyone. This is where the core scripture comes in above.  These colleagues?  They are your family away from home.  Treat them as so.  Lift them up in prayer on your own time, and quietly let them know about that.  How can you not appreciate someone who prays for you?

I have learned a trick through the years about faculty meetings.  Try not to arrive too early, but obviously don’t arrive late.  If you slide in five to ten minutes before the meeting begins, prayerfully scoping out the scene, God will direct your steps to the people who would benefit from your presence the most.  Be a light to them!  Create beautiful music amongst your colleagues.  “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).  That, my friends, is the end all goal right there.

Challenge: Pray as you enter the first week of faculty meetings, and follow through with whom the Lord asks you to be with.  Just like Tony was with me, be open to anything!

Song application: “Light Shine Bright” by TobyMac (featuring Hollyn)

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Everywhere we go, music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Video application: I found this video called “How To Make Friends As An Adult.”  Not bad advice for us—especially as you meet new people the first week of the fall semester.

Journal/Accountability: Journal or talk with a trusted Christian friend about ways you can get out of your comfort zone in who you converse with.

Quote: “We start a relationship with someone not only because of how great they are but how great they make us feel. And because they have granted us this extraordinary gift—a chance to experience love, joy, compassion, and security —it is our exclusive privilege to make them feel wonderful about themselves, especially during days when they, themselves, don’t feel so wonderful.” (Kamand Kojouri)

Bonus Quote: “Make new friends, but keep the old.  Some are silver and the others gold.” (My mom)

Bible story: Read the story of the woman at the well in John 4:1-42.  How was this conversation awkward for the woman considering her gender and the fact that she was a Samaritan?  Why did Jesus not use that as an excuse to talk with her?  How did Jesus intensify the conversation as they continued talking?  How did the disciples miss the boat when they arrived?  What resulted from this conversation with the woman in her village?

Prayer: Lord, I pray you will guide me to interact with the right people that first week back at school.  Let me keep all my co-workers in my heart, lifting them up in prayer.  Amen.

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