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What am I without my friends?

What am I without my friends?

Friends can fail or disappear

It was perhaps the TV series "Friends" that set a new standard for what a group of friends means to young people: In many cases, it is more important than family. Friends can be chosen, unlike family.

In many environments, having friends who are popular and successful gives status. In order to fit in, one can easily choose to do things we don't really want. To what extent are your friends who give you the experience of being more or less valuable?

Text in the article is taken from a teaching plan prepared by Damaris Skole. 

”I can't be friends with you, you're not popular enough.” 

The quote above is from Linn Thorsen Mikkelsen's blog. She distances herself from what the headline says, but emphasizes that there are different gangs at school

The popular → The in-between →The "unpopular"

What do your friends mean to your self-image? The relationship we have with the people around us affects how we see ourselves. We need community, but we can easily become dependent on others to feel safe and valuable. In many environments, having friends who are popular and successful gives status. If you are not in the "right" group, the feeling of being inferior can easily come.

For some, friendship is everything

In the series "Glee", which is an American musical comedy/drama series, you get to know a group of young people at the fictional school William McKinley High School. Here, the gang is in a so-called glee club, a choir group. Young people who go to choir are automatically at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

Friends mean everything. You are defined by who you hang out with, quote from June Dolloway, Glee, Season 5, Episode 18

The quote is taken from the penultimate season. Several of the students are now starting a new life in New York, including Blaine Anderson who attends the prestigious school NYADA - New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Here he meets the rich New Yorker June Dolloway, played by Shirley MacLaine. She takes him under her wing and introduces him to her extensive network of friends who are at least as rich in money, success and influence.

You are shaped by those you associate with. But June Dolloway takes the meaning of friends even further: Not only can you be changed as a person by being close to people, but the image of you towards others changes depending on which friends you have. Friends don't necessarily mean everything because they give you a sense of belonging and being seen, but because they give you the right image and entry into the desired social circles. Then friends also become something that is chosen based on what they can give you, not necessarily based on how you get along or what story you share.

What does the Bible tell us about friendship?

The Bible says a lot about community and relationships. We read that we should love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other and be there for each other.

In the Bible, you can also read that there are many who are willing to do a lot  to get the "right" friends: "Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts" (Proverbs 19:6)

Proverbs describe a true friend as someone who is more faithful than a brother. At the same time, it is pointed out that some friends can actually harm each other “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Proverbs 18:24

The Bible is clear:

My value does not depend on my looks, my achievements, my friends or anything else. I have received my value from God!

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." it says in one of the psalms in the Bible Psalm 139:16.

The value is given by God who created us! We are all unique and outstanding, with the same value. Both our feelings and what we think about ourselves varies, not least because of attitudes we encounter in everyday life. Both in ups and downs, the value is the same, because the value has been given to us by God. We are created and loved.Whatever we think and feel, the value is rooted in God. We can compare this to a ship that is held fast by the anchor. God, who created us and loves us so much, also knows what is best for us. He would like to tell us that, through what we read in the Bible and by praying to Him.

As we get to know our Creator better, we also get to know ourselves better, our worth and the meaning of life. Here we get help when we feel the pressure of expectations from both ourselves and from others in terms of how we look, what we perform and which friends we have. None of this can be an anchor for our value.

Only God can be!

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