photo by Paula Borowska

photo by Paula Borowska

Do you ever feel that uncertainty before making a decision prompted by the Spirit? Because I sure did. 

I was afraid of being alone. 

I was afraid of it being difficult. 

Is this even the right decision? 

I have now moved forward with clarity in my decision and in light of it, I learned the importance of friendships that help you experience the kingdom of God here on Earth. 

God never promised I wouldn’t feel lonely but He sure does promise that we will never be alone. 

I tried to find peace on my own. I strived to be independent and not burden others with my struggles. But I forgot one basic thing: we are made in the image of a relational God and therefore, we are wired for relationships with others. We are made to lean on each other, and once I turned to others for aid and admitted to my weaknesses, God propelled me into relationships with others that encouraged, challenged, and pushed me into a deeper understanding of faith. 

I was taught that nurturing spiritual friendships could be simplified down to four aspects – commitment, companionship, Christlikeness, and correction. 

Commitment:

But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.
Ruth 1:16

Commitment is forged in loyalty over time, the kind of friendship that time and time again shows you it isn’t going anywhere. 

Companionship:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
Romans 12:15

Companionship is the idea of rejoicing and mourning together. It is sharing experiences with each other. It is being intentional and asking how to be there in that moment. And actually being there.

Christlikeness:

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Nurturing friendships are ones that walk in righteousness together.  People have this incredible tendency to push you to points you did not even know existed and ask the questions you were begging to be asked. Friends who encourage you and walk alongside you in the pursuit of Christ are so important in this crazy adventure of following Jesus. 

Correction:

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Proverbs 27:5-6

My closest friends are the ones who care enough to correct me, and listen to correction from me, in love. Correction stems back to accountability.

Christlike friends will address blind spots that you may have in your life so you can grow and flourish. And this one can be uncomfortable on both ends.

I have seen this carried out so beautifully and so much good came out of the correction. I am thankful for all the moments when friends have cared enough to overcome the awkwardness in order to encourage righteousness.

Each season is one in which God can be invited in to teach us truth. Our desire for relationships with others is such a beautiful truth.

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’
Genesis 2:18

-Bri Emerzian // @bricheese19

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