Gospel centered friendship is something that has been weighing on me greatly the past few weeks. What can this really look like in my life? First I think it's important to understand what Christian friendship should be.
It should be:
- servant driven
Compassionate: Romans 12:15--"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Plain and simple. When my friend is rejoicing, I am to rejoice with them. When they are hurting, I should be hurting. If I'm not doing these things, I seriously need to examine whether or not my friendship toward them is what it should be.
Selfless: 1 Corinthians 13 is typically known for being the "love" chapter of the Bible. The type of love this particular passage is talking about is agapē love, which in Greek literally means "brotherly love"...aka, friendship! Verse 4 in the ESV says, "It [love] does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful." Basically, it isn't selfish. It's selfless. If I am being the type of person that always insists on getting their way in a friendship, I'm not following biblical principles laid out in scripture that clearly tell me to give of myself.
Servant Driven: John 13:3-5--"Jesus...rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him." Long story short, I am to follow Jesus' example and serve my friends. Whether it's washing their feet, driving them to Wal-Mart, or whatever it may be I need to be serving my friends...or at least be willing to.
Over the past few weeks these principles have been modeled in my life amazingly. And not by me. By my friends.
I truly believe, with all my heart, that the Lord has placed the most amazing people in my life to be my friends. From one sending me encouraging rap lyrics that he wrote earlier in the day to another simply calling and telling me she's praying for me, the friendships I have in my life have been blowing me away lately!
So what's the take away? Examine whether or not your friendships are selfish, or selfless. Do you have other's best interest at heart?
Don't let friendship become a one-way street.
Father, I thank You so much for the friends you have placed in my life--friends that encourage me and keep me accountable. Lord, teach me to be a better friend. Show me my faults and correct them in me. Teach me to serve my friends in a selfless way.
ps. the Michael W. Smith song "Friends" really has nothing to do with this post, but it's about friendship...and I thought it was a clever title :)