Welcome to this study about being involved in your local church! I am very passionate about this topic, and I hope that we can both learn something valuable to apply in our lives through this study. I hope you’ll join me with an open heart to the Word of God, and maybe even a warm cup of coffee in your hand.
The Joy of Church Connection for Young Believers Day 1: Godly Friends Are the Best Friends
“Two are better than one… For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ESV)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13, ESV)
Some of my most memorable nights have been those where I’m surrounded by true friends. Who doesn’t love making memories while laughing and talking with friends? If you don’t enjoy it, I’ll try and forgive you, but I wouldn’t understand why. In this study I want to talk about friendships, and more specifically, Christian friendships.
I could write endless studies on the worth of Christian friendships, but I’ll try and spare you the time by cramming my thoughts into this one study. There’s something so special and unique about the bond with other believers—we share something that is eternal. As Christians, we have eternal life and the promise that we will spend forever in heaven someday. We’ve all heard the term “BFF,” or maybe even “BFFL,” but with Christians, the whole “forever” part is actually true. It’s wonderful to deepen relationships with one another on this earth, but it’s also such a comfort to know death won’t mean goodbye forever.
Another thing I appreciate about friendships with other believers is that we can hold each other accountable in our service to the Lord. Something I’ve really enjoyed is a simple group text that I have with two of my closest friends where we each send our thoughts from our devotions every day. Some days it might be a simple verse, and other days it may be longer, but each day I am challenged and encouraged by these women who hold me accountable. If it’s getting later in the day, we sometimes check in on each other to see if they’ll send their thoughts for the day. It’s also an added bonus because I love reading their thoughts and knowing what they’ve been appreciating from God’s Word.
Having Bible studies with other Christians is something I am so thankful for. It’s fascinating to see what other people take away from Scripture—we might appreciate one thing about a verse, and they may appreciate something totally different. In these Bible studies, it’s such blessing that we can be totally open about what we believe and what we’ve found in His Word. These Bible studies deepen our relationships with other believers, but ultimately, they deepen our relationship with Christ since it’s His Word that we’re studying.
Something only those who have accepted Christ can fully understand is the power of forgiveness. Most people understand forgiveness to some extent, but those who have experienced the complete forgiveness of Christ understand it at a deeper level. We read in Colossians 3 that we are to forgive “as the Lord has forgiven you” (vs.13). It’s inevitable that in relationships we may do something that requires forgiveness. Maybe we lose our patience and say something we don’t mean, or take out our bad day on an innocent person, or make someone feel left out. I’m guilty of every one of these mistakes, and I’m thankful for the forgiveness of Christian friends when I have made a mistake. I’m not saying forgiveness is easier as a Christian, or that every Christian will forgive, but I am voicing my thankfulness for forgiveness that’s been shown to me by many believers.
There are also times in our life when we need someone to check in on us. We need friends who want an honest answer when they ask, “How are you?”—ones who don’t believe us when we answer “good,” but want to know the truth. I’ve had that happen a time or two (or more like 20 times), and I’m thankful for friends who check in on me. I know they care for me, love me, and I’m so grateful that these same friends bring me before the Lord in prayer.
I love reflecting on my wonderful Christian friends and how precious they are to me, but I also must remember to be a good friend in return. I can’t expect them to constantly love me, care for me, and forgive me if I’m not doing the same in return. Let’s be mindful of who we surround ourselves with, but let’s also keep our own hearts in check so that we might encourage and uplift those that are in need of friends as well. Let’s ultimately remember that we are to live with Christ as our example and to be the friend we long to have.