Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Relationships: Friend {Part Two}

Relationship Series...click here to read the overview.


"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have a sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22

So we are continuing from the last post discussing the specific relationship of "friends". Friends are people that you have personally been affected by and now have affection for. What is different in this relationship compared to the "neighbor" relationship is that the feelings of affection are reciprocated. Two people are actively involved.

In this post I want to discuss the idea of fellowship with our friends. It seems that these days we have lost the true, deep fellowship that we are to have with our friends. Anytime I see the word fellowship, I think of "Lord of the Rings" or the "Knights of the Round Table". People that had such strong affection for one another that they were willing give their lives for one another. They stood together through lifes perils and challenged one another to be better humans{or elves, hobbits and dwarfs...lol}.

So the question here is why are we friends with the people we are friends with? Is it because they agree with everything we say? Is it because they have the same character weaknesses as us? Is it because they have the same addictions as us? Is it because they are weaker than us and we can control them? Is it because they are the "beautiful" people or the cool crowd? If the answer is "yes" to any of those questions, that is not the foundation for a loving relationship. You are neither loving yourself or the other person. Our friendships and affections should always bring glory to God.

Now am I saying that when we spend time with friends we need to be having a bible study or worship time? No. Am I saying that we should not be friends with unbelievers? No. Take a look at these verses.

"Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness." 2 Cor 6:14

"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world...for then you would have to go out of this world. But actually I asked you not to associate with any so called brother if he is an immoral person..." 1 Cor 5:9-11

"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor{friend} for his good, to build him up." Rom 15:1-2

So it is not necessarily who we hang out with it is why we hang out with them. We are not to be "bound together" with what may be unrighteous in the friendship. We are not to be in agreement with the character weaknesses in people. So that doesn't mean that you can't be friends with them. What it means is that you as a Christian need to be the light in the situation. Building the other person up and leading them towards the light. What Paul is saying in the second verse is that immorality is common to all men. What we want to steer clear of is bonding to that immorality on a spiritual level. We should not allow ourselves to make a spiritual connection with falsehood. Once we do that we are loving outside the truth and principles of God.

If you hang out with a particular friend to get drunk on a Friday night, you are binding yourself to the unrighteousness and that is not loving your friend. If you only hang out to gossip about other people or tear people down, that is not loving your friend either. So I think it is OK to be friends with people that are not Christians. Actually I have found lots of righteousness in non-Christians and lots of un-righteousness in Christians. The bottom line is to always be the light of Christ in every friendship. Be the positive influence. If you are not ready to be that positive influence, stay away from friendships that will influence you negatively.

This is important because we don't want our emotions to get ahead of truth. Remember, we want to guide our affections according to God's truth. That being said we do not want our affections to be set on character weakness. If we begin to get emotionally attached to someone that contradicts our morals, the devil will usually talk us into contradicting our own morals with our stong emotions as justification. Then we are no longer in a loving friendship as defined by God.  We once again have been driven by emotion as opposed to truth.

Having friends that only feed our weaknesses will be no good when tough times come along. We need to have friends that can agree with us in prayer. Friends that can build us up and remind us of the positive promise in Christ. We need friends that will challenge our weaknesses and sharpen our faith. People that will keep us in check and inspire us to be more that what we are. These are the ones that our truly our brothers and sisters. These are the ones we should focus our deep affections on.  These are the friendships that so many of us are lacking.  When tough times come along we feel all alone eventhough we have many "friends".  But they are friends that aren't able to accomodate and be a positive influence in tough times because of their own weaknesses.

Does that mean that all activity with friends should be a bible study or worship time. No, of course not. God wants us to have fun, relax and enjoy pleasurable activities. God also knows we are going to make mistakes and have bad days. What is most important is that we are moving in a forward motion. Striving the best we can by God's grace and Holy Spirit to have loving friendships for both people involved. God wants us to show each other and on lookers what his love looks like.

"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

So to sum up the last two posts...love your friends! Who are your friends? People that you have been affected by and now have affection for. This affection has been reciprocated so you have a friendship with one another. Is it OK to be affected by someones physical features? Yes. An acknowledgement that someone is pleasant to look at is not a sin. Whether it be someone of the opposite sex or the same sex. But if you go beyond acknowledgement and use that persons physical body to gratify a selfish thoughts that is lust. Lust is a sin. Lust is never loving. It is a violent coveting of something that does not belong to you.

So we want to be careful of what has affected us in such a way that we now have affection for someone. If it is just because of their looks that you want to be friends, you have an obligation as a loving person to get to know their inside too! If you have affection for a character weakness in someone you need to step back and evaluate your situation. Remember affection for sin is not love. If you feel that you are strong enough in Godly character to be a positive influence on that person...go for it! But we want to be careful not to only set deep affection on that which is lacking the Spirit of God. Because in the long run they will not satisfy completely. {more on this in the next post}

Make a point to build each other up. Love with deep affection and with the conviction that God wants to be a part of all your friendships. That he is glorified when we love each other by his truth and principles. Moreover we are a testimony to others of his love for us when we do.

Next we will be discussing the relationship of a "Kindred Spirit".


  1. I can't believe how much wisdom and food this is too my soul! Thank you so much for blogging and I pray that God blesses your ministry and your soul 100 fold!

  2. Thank you so much! That means more than you know!!! Blessings...


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