Growing In Faith
Friendships need to be a safe place for us to ask for a blind-spot check and good friends will choose to respond honestly and with love. A good friend cares about you and your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Friends sharpen each other while covering for each other’s shortcomings in a helpful, caring way. We need someone who can help take out the emotional garbage when it gets too heavy to carry on our own. We need them to help hold us accountable and to confront us when we are veering off the path. We also need support that can only be provided by other people–we need friends in the good times and the bad. We need to hold each other up when life has dealt a nasty blow.
We were not designed to live in isolation; we have a need for companionship. We need to develop meaningful friendships and be open to learn from other people’s strengths and perspectives. They may see you or a situation in a different way that you never thought of.
It's easy to have a "surface relationship" with someone, but we need to get brave enough and vulnerable enough to confront, disagree with, and hear each other. We need to be there for each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV), says "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help but someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm but how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."
These scriptures talk about the role of friendship in hard times. Most of us want friends like the ones described in these scriptures - friends who will stick around through “thick and thin”. Unfortunately, it is hard to find and to be a friend like that.
Walking through tough times with others can be difficult!
So how do we live out the kind of friendship described in this text?
Jesus sets the example…
If we are looking for an example of great friendship, we need to look no further than Jesus himself. In John 15: 12-13 (ESV), Jesus tells us,
"This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." This kind of love and relationship is selfless and doesn't do anything with a selfish motive behind it. You are there because you care and you want to see that person truly have victory.
Who do you let speak into your life? Do you have a friend who cares enough to push past discomfort and confront you when needed? and are you that kind of friend to someone else?