“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way,
you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I Have a Confession to Make
Roger Smithson and I were talking not long ago about a mutual friend.
He said, “He’d do anything for you that you asked!” I knew exactly what he meant. I often describe my friends like that. I see it as a great compliment to know that if I need them, they’ll come a’runnin. I also am committed to be that kind of always-available friend.
However, I need to make an admission...of the five “F’s”, Friends is my weakest. I’ll bet I’m not alone.
Thinking about this Flashback made me consider some of the reasons why and here’s one of my observations.
I too often think about and value friendship with other men in a functional way. The time I spend with other men is very often associated with doing something. Whether it's planning or problem solving, most of my interactions revolve around doing things. Not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, I quite enjoy having another guy to help me with a project. Scripture reminds us that this kind of relationship is good.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?”
Proverbs 15:22 says
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
Soloman was right.
Friends do make work more efficient.
They help us when we’re in trouble.
Help us think through and successfully solve problems
Provide comfort and safety when needed.
These are very functional aspects of friendship.
The Rest of the Story
However, true friendships are more than this. True friendships should include fellowship with other men.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Galatians 6:2 says:
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Proverbs 27:9 says:
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”
Let’s Go Deeper
True friends are men who we have fellowship with.
They are a source of encouragement, help and support during difficult times. They also provide emotional support in hard times. When we are with our friends we should think and talk about more than just the next thing we want to do and include time to talk about and encourage each other in who God is calling us to be.
MD5 offers men an opportunity to be part of a community of Christ followers and an opportunity to forge true friendships with other men. This year I intend to invest more time in the fellowship aspect of my friendships.
I hope you’ll join me!