The Power of Friendship

October 17, 2022

This past week I was reminded that friendships are powerful. I had the opportunity to connect with some friends and was so grateful and blessed. True friendships encourage you, inspire you, give you perspective on life, speak truth to you, laugh with you, pray for you, and more. What a list! All of this I experienced this past week. That’s the power of having great friends in your life!

Friendships are truly gifts from God, but to be great they require intentionality and investment. Nurturing these friendships is essential to our well-being, maintaining mental and physical health and happiness.

God designed humans to thrive in the company of others. Still, many people say they regularly experience loneliness, 50% of Americans, in fact.

Researchers at Harvard University followed a group of 700+ people as they went through different stages of their lives. They found that people who felt isolated experienced decline in physical and mental health in mid-life. On the other hand, those who were happy with the quality of their relationships when they were 50 were healthier and happier in their 80s than those who weren’t.

Since the power of friendship is so great, does it follow that the more friends we have the better we’ll feel? No. Isolation has never been as widespread as it is today, despite the popularity of social media. Depression and anxiety are on the rise, especially among teenagers. Researchers attribute this to the increased use of social media. It often results in unrealistic comparisons with others, concluding their lives are better. This causes feelings of inadequacy, fear of rejection and unhappiness, especially among millennials who report high statistics for lacking friendships.

For all ages, friendships must be nurtured so they can grow strong and healthy. In the same manner as with a plant, simply putting the seeds in is not enough. Ongoing care and attention are vital. It’s absolutely critical to make a conscious effort to invest in our friendships. Relationships will never survive without consciously investing time and energy in them.

This week my friends and I invested more time and energy in our relationships. It was well worth it. We enjoyed our friendship today and grew it for tomorrow.

I agree with the words of Ecclesiastes about our friendship connections: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV