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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)

In a time when I was in a friendship that wasn’t Christ centered, it was a very draining, negative experience. It was hard for us to see eachothers perspectives or to agree to disagree peacefully. It was lots of quarrels and disagreements. I learned that Jesus must be present in friendships in order for them to grow!

I had a very good friend. I learned that what others value and believe seeps into the freindship and divides it. I learned that friends need to hold your same values to be able to support you or advise you when you need a freind.

Our friendship did not last. She made some bad choices that I did not agree with and it ended our friendship. What did I learn? People may be very nice and friendly but that doesn’t mean they are your friend.

I learned that I can be lead astray but the Lord kept representing others that had a connection. I think it has also made me stronger to go with what I believe.

I have never had a friendship that was Christ-centered. But now that Christ is centered in my life, I see the differences we have. When I was living for myself.. I was selfish, unhappy, unhealthy, constant, and drained.
Now that Christ is centered, I have less friends but I feel more full than I ever have.

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.

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