Real friends speak life into each other. Love between friends is not the worldly kind of love that is selfish and based on present emotions. Love between friends is meant to be sacrificial. Jesus showed this most poignantly in the way he loved his disciples and went to the cross for all of us. I am working my way out of an awful habit of going to be with friends so they can fill me. It’s hard to think of friendship as work at times–but it is joy-filled work. Why would we not want to be pouring into each other and lifting each other up?

As friends, we have the unique capability of seeing the bigger picture. What I mean is that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a situation and we have friends who are on the outside and can help show us the bigger picture. This is especially true when we are in a difficult season of life. Friends encourage friends with what God is doing so everyone can see the faithfulness of God and trust his sovereignty ever more deeply.

Along these same lines, friends speak potential into friends’ lives. I have the joy of seeing the gifts God has given to those around me and I should see it as my responsibility to tell them about it. There are some who are clearly gifted in serving and have no idea–why wouldn’t we want to tell them how much God uses them in that capacity? We should strive to have all those around us working as the Body of Christ and sometimes God uses us to make this happen. If I didn’t have people who helped me in this way, I would still be completely lost as to what my role in the Body could be.

As women it is so important that we come alongside each other and walk together. But we have to lose our self-focus in order to love each other the way Christ loves.

I think an awesome example of Jesus speaking potential into someone (it’s also an extreme example, it’s not as likely to happen this way) is when he told Peter what his role in the Church would be. This was also a prophecy (hence why it is extreme) but the big thing I focus on is that Jesus told Peter what he was capable of and how he could be used. Jesus said this knowing that Peter was going to deny him at the cross. Jesus had to reinstate Peter; then he once again gave him the opportunity to fulfill his potential in building up the Church.

This is how I desire to be challenged by my friends and vice versa.