Importance of Christian Friendship

Thursday, July 21, 2016

After joining Young Life, I started to realize the difference & impact people have on your life when you share the same faith with them. It's easier to live peacefully per say, when you have someone who can relate to you on a totally different level and can be there for you and able to encourage you. I collaborated with a few bloggers to give you different insights on the importance on  having friends who share the same faith as you in your circle/daily life, to show really how important it is.

Mikayla from A Seersucker State of Mind:

The significance on surrounding yourselves with Christ lovers is so valuable. Oh darling, I could go on a rant about this. I was actually writing a few letters about this to a few of the girls who I lead in my middle school small group about this. You have heard it once, and I am going to tell you again -- you conform into the people you surround yourself with. You decide who you become by choosing who you are with. Does that make sense? For a Biblical example -- Timothy.He chose to stay close to Paul whom loved the Lord with all his heart. He chose to be discipled by Paul. We see many of the same attributes of Paul in Timothy. As Christians, we are called to make friendships that are uplifting. Make friendships that are encouraging-- encouraging growth in your walk with Christ. We cannot walk this past alone -- in fact, God does not want us to. We are called to consider each other -- consider each other's relationship with God and help each other with that (Hebrews 10:24). Your bond with your brothers and sisters in Christ is so treasured. It is so necessary to have people to do life with and flourish with.

Destiny from Destiny Hope Rose (more in depth)

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:

1. Encouragement

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.

2. Intentional

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.

3. Honesty

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.

Alison from Beauty & Blazers

As someone who comes from a family that was never very involved in the church, I cannot stress enough the importance of having Christ-like relationships. It has helped me so much in my walk with Christ to know that I have people I can rely on for encouragement and help, especially because they are my main source of spiritual advice. Being able to have substantial, important conversations with these people has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I was brought to the church through my best friend of 10 years, which is why I want to stress that where your closest church friends provide you with the spiritual nourishment you need, you should provide that same blessing to someone else - it could absolutely change someone's life, just like my friend did for me. 

Jada from The Classy Redhead

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
I hope this helped you see the actual importance of having people who share the same faith in your daily life/ circle. Have a blessed one.
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