No matter what stage in your faith you stand, you have a call. Raised in a Christian home your whole life but you’re just now accepting salvation for your individual self? There is a call on your life. Lived as an atheist until God radically transformed you? There is a call on your life. Still trying to figure out this whole “Christian thing?” There is a call on your life. Living out a Christ-like life daily? There is a call on your life. We each have a specific call in order to fulfill the ultimate goal- that others will come to know the same Christ who loves us unconditionally and be with Him for eternity.
Although we each have a specific calling, we cannot walk in that calling alone. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul writes about the body of the church and how it is directly parallel with the human body. Each body part is important and necessary and must work together to function! We cannot live alone. Walking out life with fellow believers is not just encouraged; it is vital! In Proverbs 27:17, it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Being close friends with other believers makes you better! You don’t have to worry if you’re “good” iron or not. Iron sharpens iron no matter what, so find some strong Christian friends that you can walk alongside- bumping into one another intentionally and making each of you stronger every day. Ecclesiastes 4: 12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Why walk alone and be defeated when you can walk in joyful friendship and work together to attack the evil in your life?
In order to foster good character, we must surround ourselves with good company (1 Corinthians 15:33). However, sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between normal friendships and “Christian” friendships. A Christian friendship should be full of these three things:
We have to build each other up! The bible covers this over and over and over again! 1 Peter 4:8 tells us to love deeply because “love covers over a multitude of sins.” Ephesians 4:29 commands that “no corrupting talk” come out of our mouths but to build each other up. 1 Thessalonians straight up says to encourage one another! Who doesn’t like being encouraged? Be that friend for others and seek out those who do the same.
This is a big one. I think this is what stands out the most when comparing a worldly friendship to a Godly one. Being intentional shows love, selflessness, and genuine care. Philippians 2:6-8 talks about how God made himself nothing and became a human just to show us that he loves us! If we want to be like God and we want to love people, we have to put others above ourselves. We have to realize that we are not more significant. In humbling ourselves and serving others, we become more like God everyday. Good friendships come out of genuinely caring for others in the good times and especially in the bad times.
Compliments are nice. Having someone who always agrees with you makes you feel good. But what kind of person will that make you? You don’t grow from that. Good friends aren’t always going to boost your ego and flatter you. That is not the calling of a good friend. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” A wound will not kill you. Hitting your high self-esteem won’t kill you. Being wrong won’t kill you. Sometimes you just need to be set straight. With that being said, all honesty should be presented with the love of Christ.
Being a friend means to encourage others in their transformation of becoming like Jesus. Every aspect of our lives- especially the people in our lives- should point us to Jesus. Sometimes it can be hard to find fellow believers in your circle, but I beg of you to search harder, press into God in prayer, and put yourself in a place where you can make Christian friends. If my words and the verses I mentioned are not enough reason to have Christian friendships, then look at Jesus. Can you imagine if during his three years of ministry, he didn’t have his friends? 1) It would be extremely lonely. 2) He wouldn’t accurately represent the heart of God. 3) He probably would not have had as much fun!
Let me leave you with this. In John 15:12-14, Jesus says, “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. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Love one another deeply. Encourage each other. Be intentional. Be honest. Walk together. Have fun.
This past year I made a big life transition from high school to college. This transition would not have been possible without my closest of friends. These friends were so important to me because of the amazing connections we all have with each other through Christ. I think that having friendships like these are so important because you know that they are always going to be there and remind you of all the amazing things that Christ has in store for you when college or even life gets too much to handle.
However, it is ok if not all of the people you interact with or are even friends with have the same relationship with Christ as you do. What matters is that your actions reflect those of Christ. This is important because that is what we are called to do.“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”- Ephesians 6:7