Faith and Friendship

The gift of Christ-centered friends

It’s almost time for our annual Faith and Friendship fundraiser and so I’ve been reflecting a lot on the gift of Christ-centered friendships. To be honest, I don’t know how I would be surviving this year of grief without them. There’s something different about a faith-filled friend. Christ-centered friends know suffering is part of a bigger picture and that we are all part of a bigger picture, which creates a safe place for listening without judgement and trying to “fix-it”. When you share a Christ-centered friendship there’s a deeper love, deeper commitment, and deeper humility that allows for a beautiful, humble sense that we are all walking together in this journey of life.

The challenge of finding friends

There is so much isolation and loneliness in today’s society. It can be hard to find these types of friendships. If you’re looking for more Christ-centered friends in your life or wanting to better nurture the ones you have, I invite you to reflect on what may get in the way of deeper relationships.

  • Have you been hurt in the past by friends and afraid to reach out to start new friendships?

  • Are you over-committed and have a hard time finding time for friends?

  • For those of you who have younger kids or a lot of grandchildren, are you not giving yourself enough time to be with adults?

  • Do you have a hard time getting outside of your comfort zone and reaching out?

Important Values in a friendship

If some of these questions resonate with you, I invite you to reflect on the values you care about in a friendship and then start looking for people with those values. Examples of values that may be important to you could be…

  • Trust

  • Affirmation

  • Respect

  • Confidentiality

I want to share with you a prayer I’ll be reflecting on at the Faith and Friendship luncheon. It beautifully articulates the sacred space that I’m passionate about providing in the ministry and experiencing in my own friendships.

A prayer of thanks for the gift of good friends. By Scotty Smith. Edited.

Heavenly Father, I cannot imagine how storms can be navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without the company of a few good friends.

I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give me through my friends.

When we walk through difficult and draining seasons, we’re inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m going through."

That’s when the gift of long-standing, all-weather, burden-bearing friends becomes especially precious.

Father, I praise you for the gift of hearing my friends say these two words: “Me too.”

I praise you for friends who know how to “refresh the hearts of the saints”—including this saint.

I praise you for friends who remind me of the truth and power of the gospel, of the love of Jesus, and of the bigger story you are always writing.

I praise you for friends who share their lives and not just their gospel. I praise you for friends who offer tears and not just their answers.

I praise you for friends who give life-giving wisdom and not just mess-fixing formulas.

Father, my all-weather friends turn my heart heavenward. They simply remind me that the foundation and fountain of all good friendship is found in the gospel.

It’s overwhelming, settling, and centering to hear Jesus say to us, “I no longer call you servants… I call you friends” (John 15:15).

Share

I would love to hear comments from those of you who have made an effort to find faith-filled friends. How do you reach out to find them?

For those who have treasured friendships, how do you nurture them? And what do you value in your friendships?

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