I learned a few things about friendships on this trip.
So first of all, friends have a huge impact on our lives.
We were hiking up a trail down from a slippery waterfall. I was falling footstep by footstep right behind a girl named Megan. Like me, Megan was not a professional hiker or outdoor mountain woman; she was a normal chick with slippery shoes. I looked up at Megan trying not to slip on the icy trail and had this profound thought: "If Megan slips, I'm going down too." Great thinking Brooke, did you just realize this. It's a little late to be afraid for your life even though there is good reason.
Often we underestimate the power and influence friends have on your life.
For example, in hiking a good friend will lead you on the right trail and catch you before a fall. They know the safest and most direct way to get where you are going. In contrast, a stupid friend will lead you somewhere slippery or dangerous. If you are following her footsteps, and she falls, you will be taken out as well. It really is a life or death situation.
Friends are traveling one of two ways: up or down, towards God or towards the devil, heaven or hell. It is extremely risky to have friends that are not traveling the same way you are. I am not saying you should not befriend unbelievers, but I am saying you should do so with caution. You should be extremely aware of the influences friends are having on your walk with Christ. Does talking to your friend make you more Christ like or does your friend lead you into gossip?
Ouch gossip- talking about other people- that's something I definitely struggle with myself.
Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
It's really important to stop gossip. Sometimes you think you are doing the best thing for someone by talking about their problems to others, you aren't. Your friend is trusting you and you need to respect that. Besides, talking about others to others will confuse things, start or continue drama, and ruin friendships. To stop gossip, you have to be intentional. Talk to God about your gossip problem and then refuse to listen to gossip from your friends.Good friends that are spiritual, uplifting, and Christ like are so important, but be careful not to walk so closely with your friends that your spiritual walk becomes a mirror image of theirs. A walk with God should be intimate and deep, between a sinner (you) and your Savior. This is not to say, that spiritual relationships should not be shared, but that you should seek God for yourself and not follow what your friends are saying and doing.
Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I hope that you have a best friend. Not just any best friend, but a best friend that knows your heart and knows the heart of Christ, a best friend that is uplifting and will always be there for you no matter what happens. Friends like this are hard to come by in this day and age, so treasure them if you have one/some. If you do not have a true best friend in whom you can confide, I encourage you to look upwards and realize that no matter where you are and what is going on, you do have a guy that is crazy about you. He wants to be your best friend all the time. He will never leave you nor forsake you.