This month the Facets of Faith triad explores friendship from each of our perspective. Like a prism every angle shines light into the beauty we behold as our eyes feast on friendship and what if offers.
It is in community that our light shines brightest. We reflect hope and the love of Christ as we authentically engage with one another. I (Tracy) pray you are surrounded with a group of radiant friends who love you for who you are—imperfections and all.
True friendship sees past our blemishes and looks for the beauty God places within us. Grace given one girlfriend to another as she chooses to see the good God made, not the gunk. She could look for what is tarnished. Instead, she sees the light within. She helps us to shine ever brighter as she walks alongside us in prayer, encouragement, and love. For her we are grateful.
Sometimes God uses friendships to buff our blemishes in a loving fashion, so our imperfections inhibit us less. It is in the context of loving and caring friendship we can hear words that challenge. When we know her heart is for us, ours remains soft and pliable to what our “sister” has to say. Friends have earned trust and the right to speak truth in love to us.
Anyone can have a conversation based on fluff. Friendship helps us share what is real in our hearts, lives, dreams, and hopes … and sometimes hurts. I’m grateful for real friends who get to see the real me and choose to love me well. Friends don’t have to. I think that’s what makes friendship so special. Friendship is a choice.
Healthy friendship isn’t black and white. It’s vibrant and full of color. Like a rainbow the sum of all the colorful relationships bless me. If I were to pull out only the blue, or perhaps only the yellow, they would be lovely colors in and of themselves. But it’s the compilation of friendships that bring life to light and help me to live fully alive.
I am fortunate to have a rainbow of friends—a color extravaganza—who radiate Christ’s light. Individual relationships eclectic, but equally important, in the way they bless me. The cumulative impact diversity of friendships offer: they delight every nook and cranny of my heart. Some tickle my funny bone. Some scratch my cerebellum. Some sit sister-to-sister in prayer. All beautiful, their beauty seen most when you look into their hearts. One thing each of them has in common—they love Jesus.
That leads me to the question: How has a relationship with Jesus helped shape my friendships?
#1 Sometimes we need to separate from certain people. I remember feeling exceptionally lonely when I first became a believer in Christ. God separated me (at least for a season) from certain relationships. That severing had less to do with them and more to do with me. He needed to remove me from my sinful behavior. And because of that, God pulled me away from everything and everyone that would have reminded me of who I used to be, not who God was making me new to be.
#2 We are all worthy of Christian fellowship. God doesn’t have a ranking system – this one better than that. At first, I didn’t feel worthy of Christian friendship. I deemed myself ineligible because of my sin. Not good enough to be with “God people”. But He was gracious to put me in a small group who helped me early on in my journey. They were wonderful and patient, accepting me exactly how I entered the group—pretty broken. But in walking alongside me, they helped me not to stay there.
As my confidence grew and my former feelings of shame diminished, God brought mighty women of God into my life. It boggles my brain—this amazing group of women God surrounded me with. Where once I would have been intimidated, I am now secure because I am secure in whom I am in Christ. Out of that security better relationships form.
#3 God sees what we cannot. It is best to let Him choose our friendships. I am blessed beyond measure by the beautiful relationships God has brought forth. Like a diamond, He excavated each one. He saw things I didn’t see; connections beneath the surface. Contributions I would need. Contributions I could make. God knows our past, present, and future and that of our friends’ past, present, and future. Let Him hand select what your rainbow of friends looks like. With Creator God crafting your friendships, they are bound to be equally vibrant.
#4 My relationship with Jesus reveals the importance of godly friendships. I now see the significance of my closest friendships being with those who also have a close relationship with Christ. Not in some exclusive club fashion. No. Anyone can join Club Jesus. (Say “yes” to Him and you are a member.) But in order for friendships to have significant influence in my life, I need to know they are also influenced by Christ. It’s important for my ongoing spiritual health.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.—Psalm 1:1-3 NIV
I will be friendly with all, but I will allow godly friendships to be the ones authorized to speak into my life. I want to be like a tree planted by streams of water that yields good fruit. I need good friendships to do that! We all do!
How has a relationship with Jesus shaped your friendships? Join the conversation.