Friendships: Finding and Keeping Godly Friends
NOTE: This weekly post—the sixth of ten—is adapted from The Christian Man and syncs to the currently available episode of “The Christian Man” Online Bible Study series. Join us online for an inspirational journey to help you become, or affirm you as, the man God created you to be. We encourage you to also participate in The Christian Man Mentoring Experience.
A Terrible Truth
The fallen world is a never-sleeping juggernaut that relentlessly crushes everything in its path without pity—our dreams, our plans, and our relationships. We fight back, but eventually the accumulation of thousands of unfair and unjust criticisms, insults, accusations, rejections, slights, innuendos, disrespect, gossip, offenses, bullying, getting overlooked, feeling kicked to the curb, being denied access, getting ambushed, being undervalued, and getting thrown under the bus takes a toll.
We tire of the snarky, lusty, rude, crude, coarse, envious, jealous, arrogant, and pretentious comments people make. The disgraceful, greedy, unethical, and illegal behavior of others staggers our sensibilities. The endless onslaught of trials, temptations, sins, errors in judgment, and failure wears us down. We’re dulled by the wicked thoughts of our own felonious hearts. We are riddled by shame and guilt for all the ways we have let others down.
The Fall Out
It adds up. At a point, without some outside help, it all just gets to be too much. We despair over the evil we see that people are capable of inflicting on each other. Our faith in humanity is gutted. We become fragile. Prickly. Easily offended. We lose our resilience. Hope fades away, and bitterness sets in. Our wills get broken. We are prone to withdraw, even if we keep up our daily routines. Despair sets in. We isolate ourselves from friends.
A man is never weaker and more vulnerable than when he doesn’t have a true friend or two.
How Friendship Is Central to the Gospel
When the world beats you down, Jesus has a cure for that: godly friends. A godly friendship can change everything. There is a peculiar math to friendship: shared joys are doubled, and shared sorrows are cut in half.
Friendship is a central theme of Jesus’ life and teaching. He tells us to encourage each other: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12–13).
We are made for relationships. In fact, loving one another is an evidence of our identity as disciples: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
I hope you will join us for the online Bible study on friendships or read the book for step-by-step guides to cultivate a new one-on-one friendship or start a small group.
Yours for changed lives,