Beloved, let us love one another- 1 John 4:7
- What is the purpose of friendships & connections?
Simply speaking, God intends for our brothers & sisters to be there through good and bad times. Our brothers & sisters in Christ are there during adversity.
God speaks of friendship and helping one another. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) We were never designed to walk this Christian life alone. Even though we must personally follow Jesus, we need each other. I can’t emphasize this enough- the body of Christ is there, because every part functions and we need one another.
Christian friends sharpen each other spiritually. (Proverbs 27:12) without the sharpening we would not function spiritually very well. Because of this, God intends Christian friends to diligently serve and sharpen each other.
The purpose of friendship & connections is first and foremost love. You Love Christ, therefore your love for others will radiate. Friendships should be encouraging & uplifting, while holding one another up when one of you falls.
II. Why make the time?
Love makes the time because love puts the other person first. As Christians, love is forefront in our mind.
Make the time because- You love the person and want them to fully function in their highest potential. Love is not afraid to correct one another.
“Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed.” Proverbs 27:5
Make the time because, it is pleasant and sweet for your friend. “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a [a]man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”- Proverbs 27:9
Make the time to spare your friend from anxiety & worry. “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,But a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
Make the time because it is mutually beneficial. “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be [h]established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”- Romans 1:11-12
Making the time not only benefits your friend, but it benefits yourself as well.
III. Notable friendships of The Bible
Friendship is nothing new! Throughout the course of The Bible times, there were several significant and important friendships. There were other relationships as well, but since the focus of this post is friendships- we will go with that.
- David & Jonathan. “Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2 Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”-1 Samuel 1-3
The friendship of David & Jonathan was not only strong, but the Bible tells us their souls were knitted together. True friendship, according to the Bible, involves loyalty, sacrifice, compromise, and yes, even emotional attachment. We see this through the clothing gift, and the covenant to where Jonathan would protect David’s family while David made Jonathan second reign.
2) Elijah & Elisha. “Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here please, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.”- 2 Kings 2:2
They didn’t leave each other. This speaks volumes to our friendships with other believers. The demonstration here of a true biblical friendship is that love finds the time. Elisha didn’t think Elijah should go alone, so he made the sacrifice and followed him.
3) Job’s Friends. “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him.” Job 2:11
Once again, we see a terrific example of a true biblical friendship. Their friend was in need and distress, so they made the time to go visit with him. Not trying to fix it, but simply comforting him. While he had some friends later on try to convince him to curse God, this set was comforting and wanted to help.
IV. Practical Application (How do we make the time?)
To make the time we should
LISTEN before responding. Our friend is telling us things which they need help with. How can you give advice or counsel if you don’t know and listen to everything they are saying. “He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.” Proverbs 18:13.
BE DEVOTED to the other person. Put them first, give them the benefit of the doubt and make the time.“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; [a]give preference to one another in honor;” Romans 12:10
But what if I really don’t have the time? You may not always have the time right away, just be truthful. If your friend is n distress, try to make the time.
You may have to delay for a bit (I am talking a few hours) such as- When you get off work. But talk to them as soon as you possibly can. Maybe a lunch break or conference period would be a good option. If you can’t do it right then, tell them when you can. Assure them you will make the time for them.