Over the years there have been many TV shows about friendship. From Happy Days, to Friends, from I Love Lucy to Seinfeld, most of us have watched and enjoyed such shows. We love the idea of having a close knit group with whom we can laugh and cry and experience all of life’s ups and downs. The reason we feel like this is because we, as we saw on Monday, have been created for community. Friendship is something God calls us to because we have been made for it.  

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for us to see sin enter the picture and ruin everything, including the way we relate to others and how they relate to us (Genesis 3). We are broken.  When I say broken I mean there is a dysfunction of the mind, body, soul, and heart.  

Let’s look at these more closely

The Body

We all can attest to the fact that our bodies have been affected by sin. We see it in sicknesses, in the way we slow down and become less nimble as we age, in the physical ailments some are born with, and, ultimately in death itself (Romans 5:12). The way sin has affected our bodies can impact our ability to have thriving friendships. Some have physical restrictions that keep them isolated from others. Even the Covid-19 pandemic made this a reality for us all.

The Mind

In some ways, our minds are broken as well. They don’t function in the way that they were meant to function. Some struggle with depression and others with anxiety. There are those who get overwhelmed easily, some are overly emotional or sensitive while there are those who struggle to let themselves emotionally connect for various reasons. All of these impact the kind of friend we are to others. 

The Soul (or our Heart)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” —Jeremiah 17:9

Unfortunately, every part of us has been affected by sin, including our affections and desires. This has an impact on the way we interact with God and with others.

It is sin that causes us to disbelieve what God says and go our own way. It is sin that causes us to disobey and think our ways are wiser than God’s ways.

This is why we don’t love the way we should, sacrifice the way we should, forgive the way we should, or care the way we should. We don’t honor the Lord the way we are called to honor Him, and we don’t exercise self-control the way God calls us to. 

Selfishness, vindictiveness, and pride are all perfect examples of our brokenness that can hinder and even damage our friendships.

But there is good news. For those of us who have been saved by the blood of Jesus, we are being renewed. God is at work in us daily, teaching and training His children so we can become better saints, and better friends. The more we know His Word, the more we are changed by God’s grace.

In regards to friendship this means He is slowly repairing our understanding of what true friendship is and how we can be the best kind of friend to those He has placed in our lives. 

As we grow in our love for God we grow in our love for each other. The more we see and understand God’s patience toward us, the more patient we can be with our friends. The more we grasp the mind boggling and undeserved sacrifice Jesus made for us the more we are able to lay selfishness aside for the good and blessing of our friends. And when that happens, our friendships deepen and become more God honoring. 

Looking to Jesus,

 

 

Have you purchased your Friendship Bible study journal yet? Not only will you find all of the daily reading passages and SOAP journaling pages, but you’ll have each of the daily devotions in printed form–no need to check the app on your phone while working through your study!

Don’t forget, the Bridge Reading Plan is only available in the printed journals! The Bridge is a two-week long reading plan designed to bridge the gap between two studies. In the Friendship journal you’ll find the Bridge Reading Plan along with two weeks of SOAP journaling pages and daily Scripture reading! Don’t miss this! The Bridge reading plans will walk through the entire Book of Psalms during 2021. This plan is found only in the study journals, so grab one today! You don’t want to miss out!

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Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn

Jen Thorn grew up in Germany and then spent her teenage years in Africa, where her parents were missionaries. She moved to the United States for college and attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where she met her husband. They have been married for twenty-two years and have four children. Jen lives in the suburbs of Chicago, where her husband is the pastor of Redeemer Fellowship. Jen is passionate about theology and the connection to daily living.

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