Forging Christian Friendships
July 12, 2015
Meaningful friendships share something in common. Would it be sensible to approach another person and simply ask, “Can we be friends?” and expect the depth and constancy of true friendship? No. What is friendship without common ground? Through our relationship with Christ, we have the greatest common ground, the greatest bond and the greatest example of sacrificial and honest friendship. As we engage and dig deep into one another’s lives as friends, we are free to be vulnerable and honest with one another. In other words, we are liberated to be great friends.
Let’s also reflect on the fact that Christianity is the only belief where relationships are eternal. At the next service, take notice of your believing brothers and sisters. Imagine how much more we would pursue worship, community and servant hood with one another knowing our friendship is eternal through Christ. With eternity in mind, would not our perspective on forging deeper Christian friendships be transformed?
Many of my closest friendships have been forged during my 12 years at ABC. My dear brother James Gage and I have shared life through trials, joys, laughter, prayers and burdens through dozens of small group meetings or just catching up over Friday lunches. With candor and counsel, we can share and respond to each other with our needs. I truly feel blessed and touched by His Grace and to be able to share this eternal friendship with James.
I have also been blessed to forge friendships with Tongil Lee and Chris Du. Each of these two brothers had initially sought me out to mentor them. Yet in getting to know them, I have been encouraged and spurred by their walk in the Lord. Though I am old enough to be their uncle, they each have challenged me to reflect and build my own faith and constancy in Christ. Certainly Christian friendship is not limited by, but rather thrives on varied life experience and perspectives.
Spiritual friendship is needed by all of us. To seek and forge Christian friendship is to embrace Christ’s very own friendship and sacrificial love for us.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”