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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)

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)

My friendships with Christ lead women keep me focused on the Lord and my life centered on His Will for me. I feel welcomed, loved, and accepted for who I am, and encouraged to be who God created and wants me to be.

Continued….Un-Godly friendships cloud my judgement and bring chaotic thinking into my brain and soul. Though, I pray that my walk with Jesus may influence them.

I believe the lord will place people in our lives to match with and or to have good friendships with and build up trust communications and many other traits that will help us. I have a couple of friends that I have had in my life for many years. That I know if I need anything or help. They will be there for me, no matter what. They use relationships, Help me to learn to trusting god and to listen to him and be with him.

Good friendships have kept me on track and feeling very loved and fulfilled. Our unity has brought me closer to God and His beloved eternal family. I am so grateful to Him and to them and to you all!

I have not had very good friendships in my life outside of my relationship with with some family members and sisters in Christ, but those good relationships were not what I picture as a true friendship with I guess I get my picture from television to best friends that are glued together by truth, trust and loyalty, sometimes lifelong sometimes met up in later in life but my walk with God has taught me that we are all human and we all make mistakes so even though I crave that television kind of best friend I am OK with the good and bad friendships that I have had. I can extend the grace of Christ to them , because I know we’re all not perfect, and we all have things in our walk of life that lead us to act in certain manners

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