Just a quick note to let you know I've moved my blog to the following address:

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tuesday's In Other Words: Good Stewards, Godly Friends

This week's In Other Words is being hosted by Bonnie at the "Ink It" Blog .
For more information about In Other Words visit Loni at Writing Canvas.

I have found in my own experience there are times in my Christian walk that I have been assigned the task of traveling that particular leg alone. Other times, I find that I am in need of a few sojourners to mark out my way with. While I often can have many Christian acquaintances, I will only have a few close godly friends. I think of Jesus and the twelve disciples. There were many more than twelve with him. But, Scripture identifies twelve by name.
In Matthew, Jesus sends out at least 72 and who knows how many more were with Him as He traveled and ministered those three years of His life. If we look at the twelve, three are called to go deeper still. I don't want to speculate on the numbers... I want to look at why we are called to be friends to one another.

1. Because having a friend to bear the load with you makes the return for the work accomplished more. If you grow weak, you have someone along side of you to help you up and if you grow cold, your partner will help warm you back up.

Think of this - a load carried by two who evenly balance out the weight is much easier to labor through than just one person trying to do all the work themselves. We, as individuals are called to live together, in relationship with one another. The Acts 2 church was selling their personal possession and giving to any one of their fellow Christians as they had need. They worked together, prayed together and ate together. They lived their lives out together. Sharing their possessions, their distresses, their triumphs and tragedies. They lived in community. Edifying and Encouraging one another along the way... All the while spurring one another on in the faith.

2. Because God created us to live in relationship first with Him and then with others, we must share our lives with others. That is why our closest friends, our friends we share the most intimate details of our lives with must also share an intimate relationship with God. 1 Corinthians 6:14 warns us not to yoke ourselves... Tie ourselves to and depend on... unbelievers in life. This goes for our friendships as well as our marriage and business covenants. We should not be sharing our lives with those who are not a friend of God.

This does not diminish the fact that we need to be out there meeting with and ministering to all sorts of people in our lives - the call is to make disciples. But, our inner circle - those we depend on must be equally yoked with us in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us that bad company corrupts good morals... and we should heed this caution when we are involving ourselves with friends.

3. Having godly friendships should help keep us accountable in our daily lives. This will give us a pure heart, and in our relationships with others we should watch our speech making sure it is gracious and worthy of our friendship with the KING!

4. Our closest friends will bring pleasantness to our lives through godly counsel and concern for us. They will help us and we will help them maintain a consistent walk with Christ. We need people who are willing to speak easy and hard truth into our lives. Receiving godly counself from our friends is a dynamic part of living in godly community as by His design - Iron Sharpening Iron as Proverbs 27 encourages us in seeking godly friendships.

5. Our friendships must be based on reverent fear of and trust in God Almighty. We must have friends who live closely by the Word of God or else we run the risk of being led astray. If we ourselves do not do as God commands, we cannot call ourselves His friend. If we are not a friend of God then we cannot be in godly relationship with one another.

6. Finally, we cannot live as lukewarm Christians. Friendship with the things of this world is hatred toward God. We must be very careful that we are influencers bringing the virtues and character of God to the spheres of influence we are given rather than allowing the spheres of influence we have to corrupt us. The last place we want to find ourselves in this world is as an enemy of God.

In this journey God will send us godly friends to draw out His purpose in our lives and theirs. We must be good stewards of these relationships just as we must be good stewards of every other gift God gives us as His blessed children. I am praying that through this post we will at least have a better idea of how to be a good friend to those God sends to us to go deeper still. And ultimately we will find ourselves a faithful friend of our God and King.


Denise said...

Awesome post, be blessed.

lori said...

We NEED these friends...I believe with all my heart that God places those we need, at the perfect time...I've witnessed it in my own life...

We have to nurture these relationships and be faithful friends!

MiPa said...

Michelle what an amazing post! Thank you for sharing so many verses about friendship. I was very blessed by this.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

This was an excellent post, Michelle. We both used the same Scripture too :) Friendship is a gift and a responsibility - I like this angle.

P.S. I love the way you designed your block quotes. How did you do that? It is so classy looking!

Chelsey said...

Thank you for sharing Michelle. Beautiful words. I read your story about Justin as well. Thank you for sharing that and be an open, living, breathing testimony to God's grace and love.

Bonnie W said...

This is good wisdom about friendship Michelle. We were never made to go it alone, but too many of us do. Thanks so much for sharing today.

Susan said...


This was incredible. I think I'll just print this one out, it's a keeper!

I appreciate the time and work that went in to this. Great scriptures and thoughts on friendship.

You are a WISE woman indeed.

I'm so grateful for our friendship, God sent you into my life at the RIGHT time.

I'll look forward to getting to know you and one day meet you!

Meanwhile, let's keep emailing and blogging along this life's journey.

(Oh, please check, your link led me to last week's IOW!)

Blessings to you♥


Anonymous said...

Wonderful verses! Thank you for your thoughts and wisdom!
Be blessed!

Laurie Ann said...

What a great post! Full of words of wisdom, encouragement and inspiration. God bless you for sharing your heart.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

WOW THIS IS AWESOME... I would love to do a bible study/devotional on this!!!
Thanks for the wisdom!

luvmy4sons said...

Wonderful exhortation sister! Awesome stuff. I always love the verse you pick and expound on!


This is an awesome post Michelle. Great wisdom.

Blessings to you!

Patty Wysong said...

This is so true! How I thank God for the good friends--sisters--He gave me! He knew I would need them and also just how much they would add to my life!

We hope you can join us for Fiction Friday!

Tami Boesiger said...

You make some great point here about friendship. Thank you.

valerie said...

Great post Michelle.
I am so blessed to have so many awesome friends.
Thank you for the excellent verses.

I've been meaning to write and tell you that I love your hair! Lookin' good girl!

Julie said...

We were created in the image of relationship for relationship. Yet it is often the most overlooked.
Often life's distractions keep us from walking in intimate relationships with others.

I was talking to God about this this morning.

Thanks for sharing your heart. I have people in town that I can go to the pool with, but not ones that I have heart to hearts with. I know there is a reason for this season...Yet sometimes my heart aches with the longing to live deeply with another friend face to face.

I constantly tell myself "it is because I was made for relationship"..


Karen said...

I really enjoyed your post. Thanks so much. It does make a big difference to share a load with a friend.