A group of friends

Leader’s Patterns with Friends

Friends are a massive part of our lives because God made us to need them and want them. Our growth as a leader, achievements, purpose, and fulfillment are linked to them.

”As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.“

Proverbs‬ ‭27‬:‭17‬

Leaders need friends that sharpen them. Which means, they challenge them, learn from them and care for them. When we have these types of friends, we’re better for it.

All of us have amazing friends and all of us have lost some of those friendships. As we get older we realize some people come into our lives for seasons and others for a lifetime. Through this process, we have ups and downs, disappointments, and success, but this is a part of life and we grow through it.

The challenge we have is to not let the hurt shut us down to where we miss out on the friends God has for us. The truth is, our greatest pain in life comes from relationships. These moments of pain can shape us in how we see ourselves, others, and the world. However, this can be short-sighted and not in the flow of God’s thoughts and plan for us.

When we go through this type of pain, we’re tempted to shut down and avoid trusting friends. But this is a mistake because whatever God wants to do in us, will always include others.

We know this as leaders because if we’re not leading anyone, we’re not leading. But, we can’t afford to go through life thinking that people are a tool for us to use in accomplishing our plans. This is not a healthy pattern.

Healthy leaders have friends that make them better and stretch them for more. They’re invested in what their friends are doing and get out of themselves. This is Godly, healthy, and vital for us as leaders.

We need friends which is why we must have healthy patterns with them.

Having healthy patterns with friends starts with us. We have to be proactive toward others and toward ourselves. This helps us to grow personally and be healthy in our lives. This is ongoing.

From this place, we’re proactive in reaching out to others and engaging with them. God plans that we engage, versus standing in a corner waiting for others to make the friendship work.

Here’s how the Bible says it,

”A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs‬ ‭18‬:‭24

Notice how we must be friendly to have friends. We take ownership of being in a posture that reaches out, loves others, and has a heart for them.

This is what healthy leaders do!

1st – Humility.

Humility is a quality that brings people to us. Pride is a quality that repels them from us.

Our growth, friendships, and purpose are enhanced when we choose humility as our posture.

The reality is, we need Jesus and we need friends. No one can do this alone, so when we have humility it opens doors to meaningful friendships.

Humility says I need others. Pride said I don’t need anyone. Humility says I can learn from you. Pride says I know more than you. Humility says I can’t do this alone. Pride says I’m strong enough by myself. Humility reaches out and cares for others. Pride goes inward and cares only about the self.

Humility opens hearts and pride shuts them down.

Healthy patterns with friends begin with humility. It’s being vulnerable and open with the right people. I believe when we choose humility as our posture, it’s going to lead to the right friends. Conversely, pride will lead us to the wrong friends.

2nd – Boundaries.

Having boundaries is a sign of a healthy person and friendship. Of course, this doesn’t reference being petty or manipulative with this topic.

It means having the confidence to have good boundaries that help the friendship grow in trust and meaning.

Boundaries help friends grow and be safe in their relationship. Not having boundaries causes the relationship to be unsafe which stifles or even ends the friendship.

It’s from boundaries that we build trust and a bond that can grow over time. However, I’ve noticed how adults struggle to have boundaries. Speaking up and having open conversations doesn’t just happen. Because of this, these conversations are not happening enough.

Which is why we take a proactive posture in our friendships. We engage in conversations that convey boundaries, talk openly, and choose to be honest. We care enough to talk and be real.

This is where we grow deeper into meaningful friendships.

Consider this and move forward one step at a time. Make any adjustments needed for growth and health.

3rd – Serve others.

Friendships work best when we serve each other. It can’t be a one-way street. It must be mutually caring and serving one another.

This means we’re a part of their world and what’s important to them. We value them so we value what they value.

We ask questions, go to events, listen when they vent, and support them in their endeavors. The serving friend is a great friend.

Therefore, we choose to serve our friends. We choose to ask questions and learn about them. We choose to understand them and why they do what they do. When we study our friends and know them, we’re empowered to serve them well.

I believe that too many people make everything about them which limits potential and friendships.

I also believe that when we serve our friends, it empowers us to grow past our limits and discover new depths in our friendships.

I love the saying,

Notice, when we care it opens the door to what we can share with them.

Great growth and purpose come when we serve others. Especially our friends.

How are you doing with your friendships?

I encourage you to evaluate yourself in this area and seek to grow in humility, boundaries, and serving. We’re responsible for our actions, and when we take ownership of that, the friendships we need and want can happen.

God has great things for you and He has great friends for you too!

Have a great day and the best is yet to come,

Pastor David Norris

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