Equipped Through Godly Friendships
“The One Where Rachel Smokes” is an episode on the 90’s sitcom Friends where Rachel’s co-workers are constantly taking smoke breaks and she feels left out and desperate to connect with them. In her desperation not to miss out on crucial work conversations and decisions she starts pretending to smoke in order to be with the women and connect. As you might expect it doesn’t build the work relationships and comradery she desires and when it looks like it might – it comes apart because she’s not being her true self, their new connection is based on a lie. It’s a false connection that doesn’t produce lasting friendships.
This episode comes to mind when I think about friendships that use complaining or other sinful acts as a connection point. It makes me think of friendships that don’t have Christ as the foundation of their friendship. And in order to maintain health in friendship we must first pursue constant health in our relationship with Jesus.
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1: 5-7
If you’re desiring connection and community make sure you’re first pursuing a righteous relationship with Christ. And second pursue friendships in which the foundation is built on Jesus Christ. Having friends that don’t know Christ as their Savior is good, but these people shouldn’t be your ‘home team.’ Home team meaning the people you do life with. A shared foundation of Jesus is a prerequisite for ‘home team’ status. Carefully monitoring the health of your friendships will take work, discipline and devotion as mentioned in Hebrews 12: 11 – it’s not easy but a harvest of good living is promised for those who live this way. And if you find that there’s a pattern of failing friendships or a wave of hurt people in your wake or your friendships are based on unhealthy practices (complaining, gossip, disorderly behavior etc) – then you maybe the common denominator in unhealthy friendships. Examine your heart and consider who Jesus is to you and what it means to be transformed. If God has made you alive when you were once dead, live in that victory and don’t live or act like the dead – step into and live in the new resurrected life that Christ has called you.
Don’t settle for false connections like complaining about people at work, church or complaining about family.. “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do you have friendships with false connections that you have let get too close?
Do your friends speak life into you?
Do your friends actually listen when you talk?
Are these friends personally seeking ways and actively becoming equipped in their own faith?
Are you the friend that needs to make changes in order to be a friend that speaks life? Do you listen when your friends talk?
Do you and your friends pray together?