Who are your friends? We often get this question when someone we haven’t met before wants to get to know us. So what does having friends have to do with emotional resilience and consistent life giving?
The key is so simple, it might even sound obvious: Having good friends.
Good friends are safe with and can tell anything about ourselves to is critical to becoming who we are and learning to love who they are. Emotional resilience comes from someone like a friend sticking with us through good times and bad. They are the ones who know how to bring us back to joy when we are down.
Our friends or those in our family are usually the first ones we can attempt to test with our life giving skills. Where does life come from? Life comes from the author of life itself, the Living God. Our first attempts come from our seeing others give life, us receiving life and then us practicing giving life to others.
Giving life can be a real challenge. We need to be receiving life while at the same time connecting well with those who are needing life. Connecting well means we know someone’s real need and are able to bring them back to who God made them to be while staying relationally connected with them. We need to see other’s emotional state and see with God eyes realities about that person and what God’s thoughts are about them.
We decide who are friends are, how we want to relate to God, if we want to receive life and in fact what life means to us personally. These decisions determine if we will become emotionally resilient and be able to give life to the ones we love.
Our daily news tells us story after story about unfortunate people who did not have the emotional resilience to do life the way they wanted to. If they don’t have a close friend they will stop doing life, stop being able to function in this world and misinterpret the suffering they are faced with. Building emotional resilience even to face severe persecution and death with joy is a skill that will make us consistent life givers no matter what the challenge.
Joy Starts Here groups, Connexus groups, and Thrive training resources restore us, our friends and our life giving potential. The good news is that we are not alone and need not be afraid to face the most pressing issues of our day, in our families and in our communities.