Saturday, April 9, 2011

Taking Friendship to the Next Level

We casually mingle in the church foyer after worship or Bible Study.  Chat in the playground while keeping half an eye on our kids.  Meet for a quick cup of coffee.  Do lunch.  Or perhaps run into each other at the gym.

We chit-chat and laugh and have a good time.

And along the way, something resonates.  We discover that we have lots of common interests.  We value the same things.  We are authentic in each other's company.  We accept where the other is coming from, and feel safe being who we are.
 
There's nothing codependent or unhealthy or needy going on.  It's a mutual give and take thing.  We feel like better people because we've shared some time together.
 
So what's it look like to take a good relationship to the next level?  What's it look like to open the doors to something more substantial?

To become spiritual friends?

In the Spring 2011 issue of Outcomes Magazine, Stephen Macchia describes what spiritual friendship looks like - "We freely ask, 'What is the state of your soul?' and then listen without compulsion to fix, correct, or change one another's heart or mind.  Spiritual friends pour courage into each other's heart by coming alongside to offer grace and mercy, pray, and hold lovingly any shared concerns. 

With authenticity, brokenness, humility, gentleness, and love, these friends are a much-needed balm in this cut-throat world."

Reflect for one moment on the people that God has brought into your life in this season.  Men with men, women with women. 

Is there someone you're clicking with?  Is there the potential for powerful conversations where there are "words aptly spoken ... like apples of gold in settings of silver {Proverbs 25:11}?  For iron to sharpen iron {Proverbs 27:17}?  For life-changing prayer intercession and support {Romans 12:15}? 

What's God's invitation to you today - to give, to receive?
Linda
- picture by groovyholly -

2 comments:

  1. Taking Friendship to the Next Level is a description for me of my friendship with my very best buddy.

    God took away a dear friend in 1999 and I never thought I would ever have a friend again who knew me through and through and was long-term but God has blessed me with my dear friend, Linda, who does not take Laura’s place but is just as significant and important to me as she was. I cherish her friendship and her ability to maintain our friendship---even when busyness tries to crowd out what is needed and important in both our lives. Especially because I am single, her enduring desire to spend time with me makes me feel so special and that I matter----I truly matter to someone. Now I know I matter to my children and other family members but Linda’s efforts make me SEE that I matter to her. Where do we get that today in this crazy, unconnected world we live in?

    I especially like what Linda said: “We are authentic in each other's company. We accept where the other is coming from, and feel safe being who we are.” That is true friendship!!!

    Linda also said: “We feel like better people because we've shared some time together.” I have to say I feel so valued after my time with Linda and she truly has the gift of encouragement. So that is my reflections of how special and blessed I am to have a friend like my best buddy, Linda.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that iron sharpens iron! Thank you for showing me what deep faith and strong perseverance look like. I love that God has restored all those years that the "locusts" ate {Joel 2}. You are making a tremendous difference in the lives of women as you minister God's love and merciful grace to them.

    How thankful I am that you walk alongside me!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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