PLPC Prayer Series (6) – Being Genuine in Your Friendships

Lily Ma

I love travelling, but sight-seeing is not my only reason for travelling. Neither joining a tour nor searching for new travelling spots comes first on my list. Instead, sometimes I prefer to revisit places that have left a favorable impression on me. I like to remember how it touched my heart when I first visited, or to discover something new and be excited about that place again. Sometimes just looking at pictures or reading my travel journals describing what I heard, saw, and thought brings back a lot of memories.

People and places are the same. There are some people who cross our paths once but leave a deep impression on us, or even inspire us; they give us a different feeling, refresh us, and touch our hearts every time we meet them. However, there are some people that we would like to keep our distance from after one meeting. Regardless of your interaction with others being positive or negative, if we are genuine in the process, it can help us know ourselves better and become more mature. Relationships play an important role in our personal development. If we find a friend that shares our affinity, it will bring about a connection of minds and souls, as well as understanding and confirmation; but if we have a relationship that is less than pleasant, we can still examine our own emotional response to that person to rediscover and better understand ourselves. Take myself for example – when the people around me get too demanding, I am annoyed because deep inside, I don’t like to be restricted and it’s against my love for having the freedom to be yourself. I believe that if we treat others with sincerity, we will find our soulmate among our friends one day. If we can be true to ourselves, not force ourselves to compromise, and be bold to set boundaries in a conflict when we interact with others, we can protect our hearts from being hurt and help protect a friendship in the long run.

In my experience, being genuine includes learning how to receive. “Giving” and “receiving” are equally important in building a relationship. We have the tendency to think that giving is more of a blessing than receiving, yet we fail to realize that when we learn how to receive, we let others experience the blessing of giving. Both giving with sincerity—without the expectation to be repaid—and receiving what others give you with sincerity and gratitude can nurture the souls involved.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). If we can treat each other with sincerity, we can positively impact and help each other grow in a relationship. I hope we can all be blessed with a friend like this.

Meditation and Prayer:

  1. Do you have a soulmate in your life? If yes, count it as a blessing; if no, ask God to bless you with one.
  2. Do you treat others genuinely in a relationship? Is there any fear or hindrances in your interaction with others?
  3. Are you usually on the giving or receiving end in a relationship? What do you need to ask God to help you learn through the process of “giving” and “receiving” in relationships?

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