My family and I meet a lot of people on the road.  Whether they're from other singing groups or part of church congregations, our Rolodex seems to grow exponentially every weekend.  I'm a people person, so that aspect of my job really appeals to me.

But I'm also a young person who desires friendly relationships with true people of God.  The people I meet on the weekends are usually far away from me, my old friends are now a state away, and my new friends are just as busy in life as I am.  Trying to manipulate schedules in order to create a time to hangout is nearly impossible and is often depressing because it brings into perspective how little of my time I spend one-on-one with friends.  When I realize this anew, a creeping feeling of loneliness will assault me and linger for days or even weeks.

It's not that God has left me alone; I'm surrounded with so many people that enrich my life!  It's not even that I'm bored and want to spend every night out of my house; I'm a boring person who is perfectly content chilling at home.  Wanting godly fellowship is a godly desire.

However, if you've ever experienced loneliness, you know that it can be a very unpleasant, dangerous emotion when it is allowed to get out of hand.  I've watched people completely alter who they are and what they stand for just so they won't be alone.  That is not what God intended when He gave us the desire for godly fellowship.  He intended for communities of godly people to come together, not excluding anyone, and shower one another with love and encouragement.  Fellowship is intended to build your spirit up, not tear it down.  (If you find this destruction happening in your fellowship, I recommend taking it before the Father and following His direction.)

Proverbs 18:24 states that a man with friends must first show himself friendly.  That has held such a meaning for me as I've pondered what exactly that statement implies.  If you want friends, spend time addressing whether you are prepared for them or not.  Are you kind and loving?  Are you sensitive to the needs of others?  Are you selfless and giving of your time and heart?  Or are you selfish and only want someone to make you feel better?  If friendship is a one-way street with you, chances are you won't have many true friends.

In order to have (and maintain) friendships, we must first work on ourselves.  So in the times when I find myself feeling lonely or frustrated with yet another failed attempt at fellowship, I go to the Father and ask what He wants me to learn about being a godly friend during this time.  The lessons you learn about God and yourself during those lonely times will strengthen your relationship with Him and will, ultimately, bless any friendships you have.

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