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Ants. Really?

The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer.

Proverbs 30:25
Ants. Really? Book Cover

Ants. Really?

Proverbs 6:6 tells us to consider the ways of the ant and gain wisdom. Wisdom…from ants? We humans usually think we have wisdom on lockdown, but let’s do what the proverbs say and take a moment to observe. Have you ever been sitting at a summertime picnic, enjoying burgers and hot dogs (or a leafy green salad if you’re into that sort of thing), only to be attacked by a barrage of ants looking to pilfer your summertime treats like pirate booty and abscond with them to their tiny yet intricate ant abodes? How do these little insects do it?

Ants understand the power of community. Where there is one ant, there are plenty more ants to follow, and ants firmly believe in leaving no other ant behind. These tiny, industrious insects do everything in community—eat together, live together, work together. Ants, in all of their smallness, understand the power of community.

a righteous guide

No, we are not ants—but we do have something in common with them. Like ants, the key to our thriving is community unified by righteous drive found in Christ. Godly friends don’t lead others into danger or a ditch. Proverbs 12:26 puts it this way, “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” In the same way that ants lead each other one by one to the delicious picnic morsels, godly friends walk in the same direction—toward the upward call of Jesus (Philippians 3:14). He’s the motivation. He’s the prize. Hebrews 12 describes the Christian life as a race with Jesus as the goal—and as we run, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses.

If words can form a pathway for our friends, godly friends pave that path with truth. In a famous scene from the film “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup shouts from the witness stand, “You can’t handle the truth!” Sometimes, we withhold the truth in attempts to spare our friends and loved ones, or even to save ourselves. That is not righteous honesty. We always lovingly speak the truth because how can we be righteous guides if we are dishonest? Withholding the truth creates opportunity for strife and separation. Righteous honesty is always part of loving well.

When we are Christ-centered friends, we encourage others to pursue abundant life by cheering them on to pursue Jesus, and offering truthful compassion. How privileged are we to get to walk with friends and witness the will and presence of God in their lives?


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A Theology of Friendship

Daily Question

Think of a time when you were in a friendship that was not Christ-centered. What did you learn about yourself and the Lord from that experience?

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Comments (10)

The last time I was in a close friendship that was not Christ-centered, I felt like a prop who’s true feelings don’t matter. After careful consideration, I began to recognize what was missing. Jesus, my Friend, my Lord, and my Savior wasn’t our common bond, being mothers was. Now I keep people in the "acquaintance" category unless they show me they love Jesus unconditionally & unashamedly. Everybody receives the same me, but I expect & need less support through life’s storms from "acquaintances."

I learned about myself, at that time I wasn’t being honest to myself or God. I felt as thou, I wasn’t as strong in making good decisions. Because I know it’s easier when the two of us are on the same page, meaning we’re both saved. It’s like tug a war. I see things, Christ like, and my friend saw things totally different. I learned about myself, that I could
not be around that friend much. Also, I wasn’t as strong in my faith as I thought I was at that time. I had to build my FAITH up the more. I learned about the Lord, that no matter what, He would always be there for me. He said: I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5. And I know that I can always TRUST God.

All of my friendships I feel haven’t been Christ centered because I wasn’t Christ centered. I have always seen myself as loyal and honest with a high integrity in all of my relationships and yet they weren’t surrounded by Christ. Sadly, one of my closest friends who was/is centered around Christ…wasn’t any of those qualities for me and betrayed me in the biggest ways. I actually didn’t even want to become Christ centered until I found people who did emulate those qualities and now I see how that has helped guide their life and I’m making an effort to make my new and current friendships Christ centered or at least have a presence of Christ.

When I’m a friendship that is not Christ centered I can feel more negative thoughts come up and it’s harder to get out of that loop. I have learned that it’s important to have those friends that help with my Walk. Plus I grow when I can help them too.

In college, I had a roommate that was pretty wild. We were free from our parents and went down some pretty crazy paths. I look back on it today and there are things that even now embarrass me about how I acted then. I learned that I need keep myself surrounded by Christ-Centered friends for support but also accountability.

Friendships that are not centered around Chriat are often filled with drama. There is a lot of gossip and back biting. I learned that the Lord wanted me far away from that.

I was in a friendship that at the time I thought was good. I didn’t realize just how much I didn’t need to be surrounding myself with this person and the things she was about until I got out of the frienship. I learned through losing that relationship that God knows exactly who needs to be in our lives and who doesn’t and that He will protect us from things we don’t even know are hurting us. Being around this particular person was making me into someone I didn’t want to be and making me focus on things that are of no importance. Thank you, Lord for being my Rescuer.

For the most part it is about how much stuff you can buy to be happy, to fill the void they have and that’s not me. I just want to scream every time they use the Lord’s name in vain. This kind of friendship is difficult, I just keep trying to share how God is the answer to happiness although spending less time with them would be easier. I am reminded that Jesus ate with the tax collector.

He definitely kept me safe. Just hearing tHis name being used as profanity is heartbreaking. I feel a conviction in my soul to be a light for Him, but it is hard when around un-Godly friends.

I learned that there are many selfish people out there that only think of themselves and how to use others. That many do not care about the sins that they have done or are doing in their lives and feel like they will not get any reprimanding. I have one friend and all of her attention is on being boy crazy and lust. She just recently is turning her life around and is just looking for love.

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