Life At Its Best: We should seek a true friendship
By Jim Graff
Sept. 27, 2013 at 4:27 a.m.
Friends are people who walk into your life when the rest of the world walks out. It sounds cliche, but it really is true. Few things are more valuable than a loyal friend.
We see this truth in John 21. After Jesus' death, the disciples lost faith in the things He'd called them to do. They gave up on spreading His message and resorted to their old lives as fishermen.
One day, they were having a rough day on the water. They'd been fishing for hours and hadn't caught a single fish. From the shore, they heard a voice shout, "Friends, have you caught any fish? Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you'll get some."
So they threw the net over. When they pulled it in, they had more fish than their nets could hold. They soon realized that the man they'd spoken to was Jesus and sailed toward the shore.
When they arrived, He gathered them around the fire and gave them breakfast. Then he started talking to them about their lives. He encouraged them to pursue their true purpose and re-ignited faith in their heart about who they could be.
Now, Jesus could've given up on His disciples that day. He could've allowed their lack of progress to steal His hope in their potential - but He didn't. Instead, He continued to call them "friend," and made it clear that, no matter what, He was committed to them. He believed in who they could be and was determined to help them move forward.
Those are the kinds of friends God has called us to be and to have. We all want to establish relationships of mutual love and support. We want to be encouraged and challenged as we strive to move forward. But as we know, those kinds of relationships don't just happen. Establishing true, lasting friendships requires making strong commitments.
One of those commitments is a willingness to remain faithful in every season of life. Proverbs 17:17 says, "Friends love through all kinds of weather." True friendship means sticking by one another even when it's difficult or inconvenient.
Sometimes, it requires sacrificing our own time, interest, or even reputation. It's not always easy. It takes a courage and selflessness that we may not always feel like giving. However, the sacrifice is well worth the reward of building true friendship.
Then, not only must we stay faithful, but we must also speak truthfully. Proverbs 27:6 says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." Hearing the truth doesn't always feel good. In the moment, it can be a little painful and uncomfortable. But friendships are intended to help us, not just to feel better but to do better.
We must allow our care for each other to overcome our own feelings of discomfort. And we must be willing to share and receive loving truth that helps us move toward God's best.
Who are you connected to? I encourage you to establish relationships of encouragement and truth. Invest in friendships today that'll help take you to better futures.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.