I have no doubt that everyone in this room has friends. Some of you have a high capacity for friends and you have hundreds of them. Some of you like to stay more private so you just have a select few really good friends.
Here’s why this is so important. You cannot grow deep without these people in your life. God never intended for us to do it on your own.
When Jesus was on the earth, he didn’t go it alone. If anyone could have, he could, but he didn’t. He had 12 guys that he hung out with.
Paul traveled the world on missionary journeys. He was a pretty spiritual guy. He wrote half the new testament. But he never traveled alone. He always has a right hand man.
The key verse in this series is Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
We want you to grow in love an knowledge but you can’t do that unless your love abounds more and more and you can’t love without someone to love.
We all need these kind of life giving relationships in our life. These relationships encourage us. They challenge us. They help us get deep. They help us as we go through the deep. But here’s the problem. Most of us don’t feel like we need them.
We do not need to connect more. We need to connect better
Everyone has friends and most people have Christian friends, but what we have most of the time are what I would call bumper friends. Everyone here has been to the fair right? You’ve walked through the livestock pavilion and you’ve eaten something fried that shouldn’t ever be friend and you’ve been on the bumper cars.
When we meet I’m giving you something off of my highlight reel. Something out of my top ten. What’s in your top ten that you talk about?
Listen, I totally get why we do this. It would be awkward if you walked up to someone and said, how’s it going, and they said, Well, I’m struggling with porn right now, and you? How are you? I’m a little depressed right now so I’m self medicating with weed? Ok, great. If you bump into someone and that’s their response, next time you see them you’re walking on the other side of the mall. You’re crossing the street.
Let me read you a verse that puts both of these conversations in perspective.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:15,16
Based on that verse both of those responses are legitimate responses. It’s okay to want to talk about the great things that are happening in your kids life. It’s no problem to share when you get a promotion or your kid gets into a good school or God takes you on a great adventure. We should rejoice with those who rejoice.
We should also mourn with those who mourn. It’s good to have someone to share life’s struggles with. It’s important to be able to be authentic with someone when you are battling in your faith. You need someone to keep you accountable when you are struggling with a habit. You need to share your heart with someone so that you realize you’re not the only one who struggles.
Both of these responses are appropriate. They are just not appropriate in bumper relationships. You need close relationships for that. Deep relationships. Intentional Christian Friendships.
What are some ways that we can be intentional with our friendships?