This past weekend we looked at this question, “What is a friend?”
I know at first glance it seems like an easy question to answer. A friend cares for you, is there for you or supports you. All of those are true and right answers. But a friend is more than that, because a good therapist cares for you, is there for you and supports you, but we often don’t think of them as “friends”.
So, friendship is something deeper.
So, what is friendship? That’s what we explored. To discover this we looked at John 15. We saw how Jesus taught that when it comes to relationships there are two main aspects – an intentional aspect and an organic aspect. Jesus says we need to remain close to Him to grow with Him. And this is true. If we want friendships to grow there is this intentional aspect. We need to put in time, effort and intention.
Then there is an organic aspect as well. If we intentionally connect, relationships will naturally grow. That’s what Jesus teaches with the vines and branches – fruit happens through connection. This applies in other relationships as well, not just with Him. So friendships have both an intentional aspect, and an organic aspect to them.
But that still hasn’t answered the question of what a friend is. To discover that we looked at how Jesus defines friendship in John 15 and John 17. And the main point we came to was this – friends share life together. That’s what friendship truly is about, it’s about sharing life together.
Friendship is more than just support and encouragement – its about sharing life together. You care for your friend’s life, and they care for yours. You share your lives together.
So if this is what friendship is – how do we build it? Well to close, we gave three aspects to focus in on:
- First was to be intentional. We need to put effort into practically growing friendships. This means reaching out, caring, taking action, and seeking to build into the people around us.
- Then we need to give relationship space. Because relationships can’t be forced. So, we need to not only take action, but give space for connections to grow naturally.
- And, lastly we need to be vulnerable. If relationships are about sharing life together, vulnerability is the soil in which friendship grows.
To close we gave the challenge for people to focus on building friendship this week. Focus on doing that through being intentional, giving space, and being vulnerable.
While the work of forming friendships is hard, it is also necessary.
Friendship CAN change the world, because friendship HAS changed the world.