WORDS | KATEY LEE
PHOTOS | MARISS EANES
LETTERING | SAM PALENCIA
How often do you talk to your friends about your problems? Do you ask them for advice? Maybe you don’t actually ask, but you get advice anyways. I know I talk to my friends all the time. We’re all in a weird, difficult life stage and it’s comforting to externally process the things that we’re going through and to get feedback, input, and sometimes just a simple, “I know it sucks” or a, “me too, pal.”
As much as I gain from conversations with my friends, honestly, sometimes talking to them is a copout. If I talk about my problems enough, I feel better. My distress and anxiety is pacified and I can go back to the regularly-scheduled programming of my life. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing; of course I want to feel better and if my friends help me do that, what’s the problem? The problem is that God is not involved. Even if the conversations I have with my friends include verses and solid, Biblical advice, if I don’t talk to God about it, I’m missing the most important puzzle piece to true comfort, wisdom, and joy.
The thing is, when I talk to my friends I don’t feel like I need to talk to God anymore. This is dangerous territory - territory that I am all too familiar with. I find myself relying on my friends for all of my support, all of my wisdom, all of my strength, all of my comfort, and all of my joy when it’s not their job to provide that for me. Good friends will certainly offer you all of those things in their friendship, but when they become the main wellspring in your life, things can get very rocky very quickly. When we rely completely on our friends, they will fail us. It’s not because they’re bad friends, it’s because they’re human beings.
I know I cannot and should not rely on my friends for all of my wisdom, joy, comfort, etc. So how exactly do I go about getting that stuff?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” - James 1:5
“...in your presence there is fullness of joy.” - Psalm 16:11
“Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.” - Psalm 119:76
Alright, so you finally talked to God and even read your Bible, but nothing really happened. You still don’t feel very wise, very joyful, or very comforted. Did you actually listen and have a real conversation with God? Or did you just rush through to get it done and over with? After you pray and read, just sit still for five minutes and ask God to speak to you. He likes to do that.
Still not feeling it? Well, who else have you talked to? Did you talk to your pastor? Your parents? An older sibling or cousin or aunt or uncle? A mentor? These are all people, providing that they are seeking the Lord themselves, who possess the wisdom of God. They are older than us, they have more experience than us, they know more than we do, and they are there to provide wisdom, guidance, and understanding when we need it. God uses these people in our lives to speak to us and to comfort us.
All of this is not to say that our friends and peers possess no wisdom or that we should never consult them or talk to them about our lives. But I think that we often forget the importance of seeking wisdom, comfort, and joy first from God and we tend to shun the older, more experienced fountains of wisdom around us, whether due to pride, shyness, shame, or just forgetfulness and ignorance.
SO WALK IN THE WISDOM OF THE LORD AND OF THOSE WHO GO BEFORE YOU.
Spend time in genuine conversation with Him; He is the only one who will bring you true wisdom, lasting comfort, and overwhelming joy.