Christian, friendship, Spiritual Encouragement

Everyone Needs a L.I.S.A.

“Why are there so many Lisa’s at church, mommy? What’s so important about the name Lisa anyway?” My youngest son seemed genuinely confused and curious one night as we counted all the “Lisa’s” we know. It made me laugh, and I think I responded with a light-hearted answer like, “Well, because Lisa is a cool name.” While it is a cool name, it’s also a very important name – just as my son unwittingly thought.

The name “Lisa” means “oath of God” or “God is satisfaction” (this comes from the name Elizabeth). It is also a diminuitive of Bethia – which means “daughter or worshipper of God.” Names are extremely important, and I started to wonder myself why God had put so many Lisa’s in my life: my best friend from high school, my assistant, my co-worker, my husband’s boss’s wife, along with a handful of wonderful Bible teachers at our church. If I listed all the blessings I’ve had in my life from them, the list would be long and full. They are a picture of God satisfying my needs and wants for countless years.

Now, this is not a post about finding friends named Lisa, but finding friends with qualities who make you a better person. Friends who draw you near to God and reflect His love. Prayerfully seek friendships with people with these attributes and you will be blessed beyond measure.

Loyal – We need loyal friends like we need air to breathe. It’s not an easy trait to come by in people these days. A friend who can truly keep an oath. A friend who will help you move. A friend who will tell you the truth. A friend who will stand by you when things get tough. A friend who remembers. A friend who worships God and is loyal to Him.

“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Inspiring – I am constantly inspired by friends who don’t give up when the going gets tough. When I hear stories from my friends who have been through abuse, abandonment, health crisis, addictions, and a myriad of other trials, I am in awe of the strength it gives me to carry on. A friend with a positive attitude through the worst of life’s struggles, is a friend you will want to be around. (Disclaimer here for my favorite Christian author, Lysa TerKeurst: this is a Y for Yes. My Best Yes. Thank you for teaching me the beauty of a wise ‘yes’).

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Spiritual – Spiritual friends care more about your heart than your circumstances. They ask good questions, and take time to listen to the answers. A friend who is spiritual can help you see beyond the external; they help us invite God into our life equation. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a good spiritual conversation. A friend who is spiritual will make us want to know more about God, His Word, His desires for us, and His plan.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

Affirming – Deep down, we are all longing for affirmation. We want to know that our lives mean something. Affirming friends know how to encourage, build us up, and speak love and honesty into our lives. These friends are not your typical ‘yes men’ who agree with everything you say; these are friends who support us emotionally. They know how to talk us down from the ledge and distract us with just the right amount of laughter.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”          1 Thessalonians 5:11

And just like the old saying goes, you have to be a friend in order to get a friend. So, no matter what your name is, be a L.I.S.A.

Be loyal. Be inspiring. Be spiritual. Be affirming.