When one of my young protegee shared with me her father’s advice, “You only need three people, a guardian, a mentor and a business partner”, it got me thinking.
I guess her father was trying to teach her about building intentional friendships. Perhaps, he forgot to mention she also needs three more people: someone she needs to mentor, another his daughter needs to be a guardian to and her spouse.
Long story short, our friendship threads sometimes grows longer and at other times shorter depending on life seasons and circumstances. As a mom, you will meet people because of the mom connection. As a wife, you will have more married women drawn into your circle because you have common grounds… even single sisters have a community that connects with their heart at this time
Friendship is about building a support system for others first and then for you. The Bible is filled with examples of such support systems, groups of friends lending support and help to one another.
Job and his friends readily come to mind. His friends as soon as they heard about the calamity that befell Job and came around to support him. They their businesses to help a friend. On one hand he lost lots of friends, acquaintances and family but these three stood by him.
Bible Reading: Job 2:7-13, Job 42:7-11, Mark 2: 1-4, Mark 3: 14-21
Lesson 1: Burden Bearers are friends who bear your pain and difficulty with you.
But Job’s friends were not entirely faultless although they meant well for their friend.
Lesson 2: Our friends make mistakes. They are human. The key is to leave a room in our heart that allows us to still accommodate them when they fall below our expectations.
Lesson 3: Forgiveness is tied to our own blessings. When God remembered Job, God made sure he went through that crucial step of forgiveness.
Job 42:10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his fiends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before
His friends words hurt him, so much so he called them miserable comforters Job 16:2… laughable right? But we have the power to forgive and pray for those who have hurt us with their words or actions.
Have you being wounded by the words or actions of those you call friends?
It is time to choose gratitude and forgiveness over hurt and bitterness. Be grateful for those who stood by you in hard times.
Another of my favorite Bible example is the “Four Roof Men”. Four men perhaps friends of the palsy man carried a full grown man up the roof, break open a section of it then let him down so he could meet with Jesus.
Burden bearers break the roof open for your miracle.
Do you have friends like that in your life?
Are you the kind of friend who would not rest until a friend is sorted out?
Here’s an ugly truth, sometimes relationships crash when we expect people to be “all that” for us when we hardly do the same.
The Burden bearers are those who are also there to rejoice when the breakthrough happens. They are excited to see you on your feet. They tirelessly stay with you and urge you to move on.
Friends of Jesus
For women in ministry we know it is hard to come by good ministry friends. But we need people. The work of the Kingdom is not a solo venture. We are fellow laborers together with God 1 Corinthians 3:9
Even the Son of God could not do the work of the ministry alone. I say it again! Jesus did not do the work alone.
He had friends, his disciples who walked and worked with him.
Jesus showed us how to be friends and the importance of friendship whether in ministry or in our own personal lives.
No one can do life alone. It is lonely and sad to try. You and I need people. We all need friends. We are built for connections, big or small.
In future studies we will handpick lessons we learn from Jesus and how we can add them to or own relationships. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss
A few more lessons we learn to day:
Lesson 4: Friendship is sacrificial. Friendship will cost you something. Though not new, we have seen this lesson play out in our previous discussions. To be successful at friendships you have to be ready to give up some time, effort, money etc. to be there.
Lesson 5: Friendship is about being available Luke 11:5-8. No good friend will be absent during the season you need them the most. They still create space for you in their busy lives.
If you are always going to be unavailable your friends will look elsewhere. They will soon learn to be without you in their lives.
Lesson 6: Friendship is not selfish. You should never begin a connection for what you will gain. Begin with genuine intent to learn, grow, give and of course what you sow is what you reap…
Are you friends with Jesus?
Prayer: Lord help me to be the friend that is selfless and serving God’s people with love wholeheartedly.