Friend, Relieve the Pressure!

Have you ever bought a bag of balloons for a party? Picture a balloon. Start blowing it up – it’s getting bigger and bigger and BIGGER —– POP! As the pressure of the air continues to increase, the tension on the balloon grows until eventually it explodes. On the other hand, if you start blowing up the balloon and then let go of it, all the pressure is let out and the balloon relaxes.

Balloons reminds me of friendship in two ways. If you have tension building between you and a friend, like Matthew 18 says, go to your friend (and only your friend) and share with her how you feel. When we approach our friend in complete honesty, we let the air out before our relationship pops!
The balloon also reminds me that our friendships can be a release for us – a safe place where we can “let go” of pressure that may be building up in our lives. If temptation is what you are struggling with, telling a trustworthy friend exposes Satan’s plans for evil against you. In exposing his plan, the power of the secret – the false guilt and shame that he is using – can be broken. We can also share trials or struggles. A great friend to share these types of situations with can be godly woman who hasalready faced these same trials.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 -12

Keeping yourself in a place where you are accountable to others can also help you to overcome temptation and struggles as sometimes things are much clearer to those on the outside looking in. A fresh perspective may be just what you need to come out of your trial as the winner.

In my own life, I try to make a conscience effort to balance my time between friends who challenge me in my walk with Christ, friends I challenge in their walk with Christ and those who have yet to have a walk with Christ. If I spend too much time with my friends who have yet to surrender to Him, I see a reflection of that in my attitude and my priorities. On the other hand, if I spend the majority of my time with those who already know Him, I can become so comfortable that I don’t want to be around those who have yet to know Him.

We become like those we hang around with. It is very important that we are on our guard in regards to who we hang with and where we hang out. It is important to have godly friends who also have the desire to pursue intimacy with Jesus like we do. We must weigh carefully and observe the extent of influence that is taking place in each one of our friendships. In those relationships where I am the only believer, am I the influencer or the one being influenced?

In the prophetic book of Hosea, in chapter 7 verses 8 & 9, Hosea describes a group of people who have become “mixed up with the wrong crowd”. The Bible says Ephraim’s strength was “sapped” by foreigners. When we are around non-believers too long, they drain our spiritual strength. It is so important to be truly honest about how much others affecting us, because the path can be going very smooth – yet taking a very gradual turn away from Christ without us being fully aware that it is happening.

Look at the headings below. Under each one, think of which category each of your friends would fit into:

Those who challenge me in my walk with Christ

Those I challenge in their walk with Christ

Those who have yet to have a walk with Christ

How do the lists look? Are they balanced or “lop-sided”? What types of new relationships do you need to look for?

If you are lacking friends who challenge you, how could you go about finding a new godly friend?

Today ask the Lord what friends you should have in your life and how you can be that friend that another may be looking for!

Today I am giving away the book “The Friendship Factor” by Brenda Poinsett. To be included in today’s give away, share one idea on how a gal can go about making new friends! Please be sure to include your email address to I can let you know that you are a winner! Just click on comments below or if you receive this post by email, head over to http://www.lynncowell.com/!

Lynn

26 Comments

  1. I have started praying for God to send me a set of Godly girlfriends…I know that to have friends you've gotta be one! So, I'm working on coming out of my shell and being friendly to others…
    amorriso25@yahoo.com

  2. Allison, You are starting at the right place – being a friend and praying for friends too!
    Lord – you want that for Allison, so I agree with her, that you will cause her path to cross with other women who are crazy about you!

  3. I oft times start a conversation with a compliment or mentioning something that I notice about them. With my current great friend, she was reading the book Captivating when I met her. I struck up a conversation around that.

    This is a great giveaway Lynn! There are times that I still DO need a nudge (a strong nudge) to start conversations face to face.

    My email addy: knellums8@gmail.com

  4. It's so true, Lynn, that we become like those we hang around with. Our friends determine the direction of our life. I'm so glad you are one of mine.

  5. I, like Allison have been praying. I'm headed into my late 30's (gasp! lol) and am a completely different person than in my early 20's. Now that the children are all teens, I find myself in need of friends again 🙂

    julia(at)thouarjules(dot)com

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, well, well! 🙂 I guess my dear, sweet friend was challenging me today! She is the one who forwarded me your blog about shopping. 🙂 We joke about it but she knows me almost as well as my husband does and wants to assist me in my walk with God anyway she can.

    I do have a mixture of friends but I do have to say I spend the majority of my time with Godly Women. I love my friends! I truly believe they are a gift from God! I work along side non believers though and I pray that I am a shining light to them. Lord, please help me! 🙂

    Thank you for your encouraging words! Have a blessed day!

    Tasha
    tcantrell@choctawnation.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm looking forward to all the comments that will be posted, I'm in my early 40's We moved away from my life long home 6 years ago and I came back to The Lord 5 years ago. I have been unable to find Godly girlfriends who I can trust and lean-on. For awhile I believed I didn't need friends, but I was so wrong. I can't wait to get some ideas on what I can do to find friends. God Bless you all!!!
    Dena
    stoken4u@sbcglobal.net

  8. Volunteer somewhere, a christian nursing home, a christian clinic, a program at church. Somewhere where you will be around Godly women. It doesn't have to take a lot of time just a little and soon you will have new friends.

  9. Start with prayer and then join a local moms group. Get involved in something at your child's school. There are many ways to meet new friends. It takes time and effort.

    melindatoad at gmail dot com

  10. great place to meet new friends is maybe by taking an art class, dance class something that breaks you out of your shell to meet new people

  11. Anonymous says:

    Joining a MOPS group is a great place to meet godly women. I have made several friends that way. And the best part is when we go get together our children get to make new friends to!

    Jill
    cjralph@hotmail.com

  12. Love this post. Women friends, in all stages and places of life, are vital. I think a great way to meet Christian friends is to join a local Bible study. If you can't find one….start one in your neighborhood. You will be amazed at the women who come and were looking for friends just like you!

  13. i wasnt finished with my comment not sure what happened….
    that being said i have been unable to find the godly friends i long for, i pray the Lord shows me the way to them, bc i need support and encouragement and dont have any friends that can do that for me….

  14. Volunteer somewhere and strike up a conversation with another person volunteering – you'll have something similar to discuss.

  15. I love your insight and the way you presented it. The analogy of the balloon is great and even greater to me is the warning that being with the wrong friend can bring negative changes in us. Amen to that revelation. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I need some friends who are unbelievers. Most of my family does believe and I have friends who challenge me or that I challenge. I don't work outside the home, I'm single with no children so I guess one way to begin a relationship like that is to make friendly comments on a blog of an author that might not know Him.
    donnagift@netzero.net

  17. Absolutely great post! I am not a mom and not a teen, but this is good stuff for everyone!

    Btw, this is my first visit 🙂

  18. I find that I have need of a friend to challenge me in my walk. I think in a way I am finding that in my daughter. She went to college this fall and has had some struggles. We talk all the time and it is amazing to see her walk with God flourish. It is an encouragement to me and I have notice a change in the way I am approaching things. I am praying that God will bring to me or me to them, friends who are going through a lot of the same feelings I am with starting the empty nest. Thanks for the post.
    fratwinmom@gmail.com

  19. I agree with several of the commentators-volunteer, particularly with an organization which involves some type of service-for me that was the local food pantry. But, first, you pray, then God will lead.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Time is a factor with my friends and I. We all have families and kids and many activities. When we are together, it is beautiful, but it's not often.

    I think the best way to make friends is to smile, be friendly, and talk to someone. You'd be surprised at conversations that start and how open people can be.
    Teresa
    tcalafi@yahoo.com

  21. carola Farmer says:

    Hi Lynn,

    I justed moved 6 hrs away so Im right in the realm of finding new friends. Smiles help me to meet people. I am trying to be approachable too. Back in WV, I had friends from back in Kindergarden, now I am starting over. I have really been praying for God to put people in my life and he has sent three special ladies already. I want Godly friends to enrich my life again. Thanks for all your wonderful devotions this week. It really helped me FRIEND. Have a blessed weekend

  22. Anonymous says:

    I have longed for some good friends to whom I can be accountable. Your message is timely in giving me a desire to pray for such people and to also be a friend to someone who needs encouragement and direction.

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