What did you think of when you read the title?
The T.V. show?
Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant's hit song of the 80's?
Or that person in your life who sticks closer than a brother?
One of the many things I'm thankful for this holiday season.
The Bible talks much about the subject of friendship, so it seems this would be an area of life to spend some time making sure some extra attention is given.
While I don't want to blog about the issues of what to look for in a friend or what not to look for in a friend, I would like to share something that I have discovered to help in knowing what to expect from a friend and how to make the journey of friendship less bumpy. I want to show you three people from the Bible that can give us some insight on the subject of friends.
I believe that healthy friendships will consist of a mixture of these three types of relationships.
and "The Timothy."
The Paul is someone who has "been there and done that" and had some success in it. Usually this person is older than you, but not always. The Paul is someone you greatly respect and allow them to speak truthfully and honestly into your life. The Paul is just ahead of the race, leading the way.
The Barnabas is an encourager. The very name means exactly that: one who encourages. Life brings disappointments. Do you have someone who inspires you with courage? Someone who spurs your spirit and builds your confidence? I dare to say most friendships we have typically fit into this category, but it's important to make sure you have the Paul's and the Timothy's.
The Barnabas is in the race right beside you.
The Timothy. Think of what I wrote concerning The Paul.....are you that to someone? The Timothy is usually the person younger than you (but not always) where you have the ability to ask them hard questions. Where you can speak into their lives. The Timothy is running the race and he's following your lead.
I count my life truly blessed to have many friends that fit these various characteristics. Anything outside these are nice acquaintances. Enjoyable, nice but typically just surface relationships.
If you have some friends that fit into these characteristics, take this simple Holiday Friend Challenge:
Write a card or letter (facebook, IM, text, email doesn't count) and tell them why you're so thankful for having them in your life.
John 15:14 (The Message Bible) I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.