Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
I have over 3,000 “friends” on Facebook. I have hundreds of “followers” on Twitter. I am wired and e-connected 24/7/365. Yet, I still feel disconnected from deep intimate friendships and community.
Most of these friendships are superficial. As human beings, we are created for community. We function best in community settings. Our Christianity is best lived in community. We need authentic, deep, meaningful friendships. To have a friend is to have someone who understands you, without any judgments.
In one of His most challenging moments on earth, Jesus chose to bring three friends with him to prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He brought Peter, James and John. In this sacred moment of His life, Jesus must have counted on the friends to keep Him company. He must have relied on His friends to pray for and with Him. He must have hoped they would stay would practice the ministry of presence – be there for Him. But, you know what they did? They all fell asleep several times! Their flesh failed them when their Master needed them the most. Despite their glaring weaknesses, Jesus relied on His friends. He leaned into community. He relied on His friends, even when it was not easy to do so (Matthew 26:36-46).
- Who is your best friend? Why?
- Can you identify three key friends to whom you could reach out to?
- Why are these friends important? Are you able to keep connected with these friends? If not, why not?
- What do you need to do to take these friendships to a deeper level?
- Are there some older friendships that you need to restore?
- On whom do you when life gets tough?