Most people find it hard to cultivate Godly relationships or find a community to belong too. There are many Bible verses that declare it’s importance:
Proverbs 12:26– “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” One must intentionally seek out godly friendships because in some ways friendships determine your life path.
Proverbs 27:17– “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Peer accountability and growth occurs when you are in the company of a true friend.
Daniel- As seen in the book of Daniel, Daniel had 3 comrades to run with in the midst of honoring ungodly leadership and facing persecution. Their chosen form of community in friendship was fasting and prayer and accountability in the faith.
But what are the hindrances to having and sustaining friendships? Either we have a wrong perspective that says you have to wait to be pursued (instead of doing the initiating). sometimes we have a fear of being known in our weaknesses, or have had past hurtful relationships and we do no want to be hurt again, or sometimes we don’t make time for friendships, and a big one is that we are unsure of how to have and keep friends-what do i do? what do we speak about?
God has placed within every heart a deep longing for intimacy-to know and be known and to belong. After God made Adam, He declared “It’s not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) This is speaking on more than just marriage. Before sin even entered the picture it wasn’t enough for Adam to “just have God.” Your deepest longing for intimacy is first satisfied in the relationship you have with God but God also placed a real desire within us to have human companions. This is not you being needy; it’s a Godly healthy desire. God is a Father who wanted a family and He has placed that same desire within us-to long for community.
Here is some New Testament values on how they developed community:
42They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine [teaching] and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers…45and they divided them among all, as anyone had need. (Acts 2:42-45)
- Apostles’ doctrine: Receiving corporate teaching along with personally studying the Scripture-believers in the New Testament valued the Word of God and valued daily interaction within the Word.
- Fellowship: Serving and sharing life in the Spirit and the Word with others requires more than socializing around entertainment and pleasure. Godly fellowship has vibrancy in it where we are communicating the heart of God to one another. They equipped, empowered and encouraged one another to be people who go deep in God and who lead others to the Lord.
- Breaking bread: In the NT context this meant to realign their hearts to obey God and commit to repair relationships.
- Prayer: Embracing regular worship and intercession, and praying for one another.
- As anyone had need: They gave to meet the real needs of others – as they gave of their time energy and money to those in need, they actually encountered more of God and His heart.
I desire to cultivate Godly and intentional friendships with Godly values!
more to come -Bethany