The Lost Art Of Friendship

Move – Get Off Your Spiritual Couch by Brian Tome on Youversion

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

When we are younger, friendships seem to just happen. My childhood friends were those who lived down the street. We bonded over building treehouses and playing pickup football games. In high school, I made friends through formal sports, building relationships with the guys on my team. In college, it was the guys I roomed with. For some reason, as we age, it becomes harder to develop and maintain friendships, but these relationships are actually more important than ever.

God, Himself lives in community as a triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. King David, likewise has strong friendships with the prophet Nathan, Jonathan, and his “mighty men” as he made his march to greatness. Jesus’ twelve disciples weren’t just underlings but actual life-giving friends who walked with Him for the whole of His ministry on earth.

We don’t have many models for friendships like these in the modern world because we live in a time of acquaintances. Acquaintances are easy to come by. They are the ones we meet at work but never keep up with after a job change. Acquaintances are our next-door neighbors we wave to but know very little about. But what about a friend who sticks closer than a brother? Do you have someone you could call to cover your mortgage for a month? Do you have someone you could confess an extramarital affair to? Do you have someone you would take a fun vacation with?

If there is one discipline I could magically bestow on you, it wouldn’t be the ability to read and comprehend the Bible daily. It wouldn’t be the yearning to spend time every day on your knees in prayer. It would be the ability to choose and develop the right friendships. The brothers close to us will bring us laughter, wisdom, support, and meaning.

We have to go back to the deep friendships of our childhoods. We may not have the pastimes we once had, and it’s doubtful that any of us will be building treehouses together anytime soon. But we have new things to build: honest relationships, bonds of accountability, commitments to encourage and occasionally admonish one another. If Jesus Himself needed brothers to live life with, then we do too, and what a blessing it is to live like Jesus in that way.

PRAYER

God, I feel lonely. Please bring men into my life with whom I can develop friendships. I also want to thank You for my friendship(s) with ________________________________. Please bless them as they have blessed me. Life is too important to live it alone. Amen.

GET MOVING

1. Text a friend or a potential friend a simple message that says, “I was just thinking of you. I hope all is well with you. I appreciate you for _______________.”

2. If you are friend-starved, identify a way to get around other men to have some fun, whether that means joining a Bible study or an intramural sports team. This is a key starting point for a friendship.


Move Devotional: A Guide to Get Up and Go Forward
By Brian Tome / Zondervan Gift Books


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