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What are friends for?

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12

watch session one: a theology of friendship

everybody needs a friend

We meet them in sandboxes and cafeterias, youth groups and college dorm rooms, cubicles and church pews.

We grow them through scuffles and sustain them no matter the fight.

Some last for a season and some, a lifetime.

Some of us never had a real one.

We’ve been hurt and we’ve been carried; bruised and built up; angered and forgiven; lost then found.

We stumbled over the same blocks and then chose to keep bobbing and weaving along this road together.

Friends.

This study is an examination, a celebration, and an exhortation to us, to cultivate rich friendships as God intended. Let’s begin at the beginning.

friendship after the fall

As human beings made in the image of God—who Himself exists in Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—we reflect him as we seek out relationships with other image-bearers. However, what was once perfectly natural has been corrupted. Sin has perverted our relationships. We hurt each other, lie to each other, and compare ourselves to one other because of the destructive nature sin brings to every relationship.

Outside of Eden, we imperfect and sinful people now must cultivate friendships from the rocky soil of a fallen world. Thankfully, we believers have an added mission—the ministry of reconciliation—and an abundant super-power, the Holy Spirit, which we have been given through our bonds of fellowship in Christ. The Spirit empowers us to overcome our flesh, love our neighbors, and make the necessary sacrifices to sustain our deep friendships. God’s love for us is all about redemption and reconciliation—what a gift that the Father would send the Son to reconcile us back to himself, and that we would be gifted with the indwelling power and presence of the Holy Spirit! God’s love for us manifests itself in his presence. God is with us, and we are never alone. We reflect his imminence and care when we lovingly cultivate true friendship.

why does friendship matter?

Before he was arrested and sentenced to be crucified, Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no
one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:12–14). Believers are friends of Christ! It is for the sake of this friendship that Christ died. It is because of our belief in Christ that we follow his commandment to love one another.

Godly friendships declare the love of Christ. Friends remind us that we are not alone. Friendships help us along the journey of life. Friends encourage us when we are down. Friends help us when we labor. Friends wage war against the enemy alongside us—and when we’re at our weakest, they defend us.

Friends help us to keep going when the going gets rough.

Our friendships should matter deeply to us because they matter deeply to God.

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Daily Question

How have friendships (good and bad) impacted your life and your walk with the Lord?

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Comments (10)

For the most part 3 women in my nearly 4 years of being a believer. Only 1 has spanned nearly 2 decades. These relationships have taught me, supported me, cried with me and rejoiced in victories with me. I too have had opportunity to carry these women to Jesus when life had them beat down.

The friendships I have now totally impact my life and my walk with the Lord. When I came to the Lord my life was a mess. I had no friends that I could count on and that was healthy for me. The friends I have now have truly carried me this last 7 months. They life me up, they walk with me, they love me, they support me, they are amazing.

I have had friendships impact my life in so many ways. I’ve learned how to be a good friend and I have also learned from my mistakes in friendships. It hurts to lose a friend you had such a deep connection with. I am blessed with a friendship I have had for over 10 years and I know I could go to her at any time for anything and she would be there. I pray for more friendships like that. I want to be part of a community that provides love, support, and encouragement just like Jesus was a part of.

They give me the support I need thru these tough times and to not give up when I wanted to. Then there are those that say they are friends, but I never hear from them even though I have known them for 25 years. Only when they need something. I have a friend that is gay, which I know is wrong, but she would drop everything and come if I needed her or take me to the doctor. Which I can honestly say, she is the only one of friends that would do that, and she isn’t even a super close friend. There have been friends that helped me get back to church at times and grow closed to God which I am very thankful for that. Or God has brought old friends back into my life to support each other in these times with verses or just checking in. God is good and he has a plan for everything!

In my life there have been friendships that taught me, encouraged me, fought for me, loved me. They helped me in really hard times and celebrated with me. On the flip side bad ones have caused me to double myself, lose trust, pull away, lose self esteem.

In walk with the Lord, good friendships keep me accountable and encourage me to persevere remind me when I’m down and point me to God, show me what God is like. Help me hear Hod voice and discern choices. On the flip bad friendships have given me a perspective that I put on God as if he’s that way too. They discourage me. They pull me away from God because that breaking of trust. They make me feel unworthy and unlovable even to God.

A falta de amigos nos deixam vulneráveis, sentimos dificuldade em nos sentirmos amadas se não vemos expressamente pessoas ao nosso lado. As companhias ajudam a escolher o caminho a seguir, e por isso, temos que saber quem está ao nosso lado e se devemos mesmo ouvir os conselhos deles.

At times I cried out to God as I wanted the hurt to go away and the other person to change and that we could walk together in his love. At times perhaps wandering away from God because things did not work out my way. Over time I saw the relationship was toxic and was one that had caused fear. Fear is not of God.

That’s a tricky question. As a child, I put the innocence & faith that people meant what they said & I could count on them. I didn’t realize my friends were as frail & flawed as I was. This meant they were as apt to fail me,disappoint me & hurt me as I was to do the same to them.
As an adult, the only difference was that people had more of an agenda when moving in & out of my life & doing the same as my childhood friends.
It took a very very long time before I truly realized that
Jesus is the only one who is true & steadfast & will never hurt me (except my dear sweet husband perhaps)

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