An Invitation to Friendship

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The people we invite into our lives ought to encourage, support, and love us. They should provide wise counsel and hold us accountable as we seek to live in ways that are pleasing to God.

I woke up one morning with the knowledge that a certain friend and I were no longer going to be friends. And it wasn’t a fun feeling.

We’d been friends a long time—about 8 years—but there wasn’t a hangout or a conversation I could remember that didn’t cross some sort of line. No, we weren’t doing anything illegal. But morally, things always felt off.

As a Christian, I toiled with the idea of terminating the friendship. I wasn’t sure what to do—we’re supposed to love everyone unconditionally, right? I went to the four Gospels in search of guidance. If I were going to live like Christ, I needed to see how He handled these types of relationships.

In the Gospels, I noticed that while Jesus loved every single person, He didn’t pick everyone to walk with Him from village to village. “It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them” (Luke 6:12-13). Jesus’ call to follow Him was a personal invitation to walk alongside Him in friendship, and He made this important decision after first submitting His plans to God the Father.

While Christ calls us to love unconditionally and sacrificially, this doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to destructive behavior. Christ wants us to follow Him in obedience, and a bad friendship will only lead us astray. A companion who constantly asks us to compromise God’s will for our lives is no friend at all.

Instead, the people we invite into our lives ought to encourage, support, and love us. They should provide wise counsel and hold us accountable as we seek to live in ways that are pleasing to God. Choosing our friends wisely not only keeps us from getting hurt but also from spending our lives pursuing meaningless things. A good friend will walk confidently beside us towards God’s great plan. 

If something discourages us from following God’s will, we are to cut it off (Matt. 16:23). And as much as we might love a friend, letting them go might be the most loving thing we can do—so they can have time to realize God has greater things in store for both of you.

Written by Josie Rabbitt

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