Friendships obviously exist at many different levels but it is the deepest friendships that mold us, shape us and encourage us in our walk with Christ. Those friendships, that have stood the test of time are one of the most precious and important gifts we can ever experience. In many ways, they mirror the faithfulness of Jesus to us because they reflect His friendship with us.

What are the marks of such friendships?

They have withstood the test of time. How many friendships that you thought were deep went by the wayside in some church conflict or over some small event? Faithful friends are those who have proven themselves faithful in good times and dark times and over a long period of years. Like Jesus, you just know they will be there for you.

They motivate us to be more like Jesus. Their commitment to followership of Christ is an ever present reminder to us to follow well. All of us need that kind of encouragement in a world that is rushing to please self rather than follow Jesus.

They always encourage. There are plenty of people and circumstances ready to discourage and take shots. Faithful friends, like Jesus are patient, kind, and always encouraging. They are a refuge from the disappointments that life and others cause us.

They speak truth into our lives with the gentleness of Christ. I am always amazed at how gentle Jesus is with us. So are faithful friends. They give us perspective, help us think through issues, probe our lives but in gentle and kind ways that always communicate their love. Perspective communicated with love and kindness by people who have earned our trust is a wonderful gift. 

They share their lives. Faithful friends are openhanded and open books. They allow us to know them and encourage us to be known. 
In that mutual sharing, we are understood and we understand and iron begins to sharpen iron. Being known and understood by another is a great comfort because we know we are worthy and valued and loved.

They love us unconditionally. How many of us are fearful that if someone knew the real us - with all our scars and woundedness that they would not really love us? With faithful friends, like with Christ, we don't have to prove ourselves but can just be ourselves. In fact, it is these friends who show us what the Father's love is like because they know us really well and still love us really deeply.

They make an investment in relationships. Faithful friendships, like marriage must be nurtured and tended to. Faithful friends make an investment in our relationship with time, attention, care, love, prayer and practical ways. They value the relationship and invest in the relationship.

I am so thankful for faithful friends in our lives. Of all the investments we could make with our time and energy, these friendships, like our relationship with Christ are critically important because these fellow pilgrims walk the road with us in good times and hard times - encouraging us to keep going and keep trusting. Such relationships are priceless.

I thank God for my faithful friends and I want to be a faithful friend.

  • Apr 21, 2011
  • Category: News
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