‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ Proverbs 17:17
The Bible never describes Christians as Lone Rangers, but as people who are in community with Jesus and others. In the golden age of tv, there used to be a show called the Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger was a man who went throughout the old west bringing justice to wherever it was needed. But even the title of the show, ‘the Lone Ranger’, doesn’t accurately describe who our hero was in the show; he wasn’t alone. In comes Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s best friend. And, technically, you could even call his horse, ‘Silver’, his friend. The point is, even the Lone Ranger wasn’t alone- and that was by choice.
The Christian who says they don’t need a friend that challenges them, that encourages them, that approaches them, that speaks into their life, that hangs out with them, that does the Biblical ‘one another’s’ with them, is not clear about what the Bible lays out as healthy Biblical fellowship. And that’s a problem that is either a theological disagreement with God’s take on healthy human relationships or a practical approach to life. Either way, if you’re in disagreement with God’s desire for you to have Biblical friendship, (either by way of a theological stance or by a practical stance- [meaning you’re not actually living it]), then that’s a problem. But it’s a problem that can be fixed…
Biblical friendship can be had:
– Forgive and Trust again.
You may have been hurt. People sin. Sinners are people. We will let each other down. But, in an environment among other believers, God reigns and His love is a love of 2nd chances. Yes, people are flawed but God’s Grace is sufficient. Forgive as Christ forgave you the Scripture says, and trust God and His people again.
– Risk worth Taking.
Friendship requires that you let your walls down. And when you do, the mask begins to come off and people have the opportunity to see you and accept you for who God is making you to be. When you risk, God has the right people walk through the risk with you.
– Be patient.
It takes time so allow room for error. Guess what? Your next friend sins and makes mistakes, too. So give it time and be long suffering.
– You’re made for friendships.
You may have made it for awhile without consistent friendship or just your spouse, but even married couples need other friends. God has specifically designed us for relationships.
– You need Accountability.
Again, you’re not meant to be a Lone Ranger. Could you live out your life as a Christian apart from the real authentic friendship others? Yes. Sadly many people do, or they just have their spouse and never experience life beyond that relationship. But God’s way spells out a better way. If you’re connected in relationship just to your spouse, whose keeping you accountable with that relationship? You need an outside perspective for healthy relationships- married or not. Biblical friendships provide that need. Accountability grows you, stretches you, encourages you. The Bible makes a great comparison for accountability in friendships where it says, ‘Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.’ Proverbs 27:17. A person who says, “No”, to healthy consistent accountability is foolish but when you allow someone you trust to speak into your life, you’re not only wise but you’re open to growth.
– You need Acceptance.
Friendships provide acceptance. Too many people have gone to their grave alone when they could’ve had people in their life. Entering and staying in friendships provide that consistent culture of being accepted. No matter what, good friends accept you for who you are.
Several opportunities to begin and grow Biblical friendships can be found in:
– Belonging to a local church – Getting into a small group – Serving the needs of others with others – Being hospitable (inviting others instead of waiting for the invite, having people over) – accepting invites instead ‘being too busy’
There are plenty of opportunities for friendship that God will open up to you if you’re looking for them. Your soul was created to crave friendship and others can be blessed by your friendship.
Even weeds show a pattern of getting together and growing in clumps. You’re more valuable than a bunch of weeds and part of the abundant life God desires for us includes community; He wants us to be in friendships with others. If weeds can gather together, shouldn’t we? Begin to make yourself available and trust God in this area. You’ll be thankful you did. — *Christ’s Blessings to you*, Scott Welch
Senior pastor Christ Community Church (330) 735-2127 email@example.com #loveledchurch www.loveled.org