Are You a Good Friend?

Description

Friendship is a gift that requires hard work. What step will you take to invest in the life of one friend today?

Real connections take time. Technology has made it easier than ever for me to have ‘friends’ on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – but the vast majority of those relationships are not grounded in time spent together.

Don’t get me wrong. I love all the opportunities to connect with people from around the world: other Christians, writers, and those who share common interests. But when I’m excited about something, or need a boost of encouragement, I’d rather take the time to talk to a friend or get together over a hot beverage. You too?

A gift

God created us to have fellowship with Him and with one another. Friendship is a special gift from God. I see it beautifully illustrated in the life of Barnabas.

Barnabas was quick to reach out to the underdog. Remember when Paul attempted to join the believers at Jerusalem? It hadn’t gone over too well. Paul was known as a man who persecuted those who believed in Jesus Christ. This seemed like a clever scheme on his part to get into their circle and arrest them.

Barnabas had befriended Paul and stood up in his defense.

But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Acts 9:27

Special friendship

Barnabas and Paul had the opportunity to preach for a year at the church in Antioch. And later were commissioned to take a gift to the believers in Judaea who were experiencing difficulty as a result of famine in their land.

These faithful friends spent time together on mission trips to Cyprus, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They shared a common bond in the Lord Jesus Christ and preached His name wherever they went.

But friendships aren’t immune from problems. When Paul and Barnabas decided to revisit all the cities where they had started churches, they vehemently disagreed on who should go with them.

A time to encourage

Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, a young man he felt needed some encouragement. Paul wasn’t so keen on including the young man. John Mark had gone with them on a previous missionary journey and left them before the trip was completed. Paul didn’t feel he could be trusted.

True to his nature, Barnabas once again sided with the underdog. He took John Mark under his wing and trained him to be a successful missionary. Years later, Paul admitted that Barnabas’ investment in the life of John Mark had been worth it:

Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11

Friendship is a gift that requires hard work. Be a friend. Take time to invest in the lives of others.

Your turn

What step will you take to invest in the life of one friend today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gift of friendship. Help me to value my friends and invest in their lives. I want You to be at the center of all of my relationships. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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