Below are some additional interactions on the article: You Were Made For This. Read it first.
Take some time to reflect on these verses. Have you ever thought about some of the things that these verses talk about? One of my good friends likes to remind us that you are whom you hang out with, very similar to 1 Corinthians 15:33. Who are some of the people you hang out with? How do they affect the way that you think and act? What are other ways the people around you affect you?
- Proverbs 22:24–25—Don’t make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25You might learn their habits and not be able to change.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33—Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.”
- Proverbs 11:14—A nation will fall if it has no guidance. Many advisers mean security.
Read over each of these a few times. The first time just think about the words you read. Then read over them again. What jumps out at you? Is it something you need to work on, be aware of, warn a friend about? Then read over these verses a third time. How will they change the way that you act today?
Remember that scripture is filled with wisdom for just about every topic. Crack open the word, see what it has to say or open it with someone else who knows a little more if that sounds intimidating by yourself.
Sometimes we fail at being friends. I think back to one of my really good guy friends in high school. Every summer he went to this sports camp and at this camp they had a tradition. You see one of the things that they valued was good friendship so if while you were there at camp you wanted to make something for a good friend back home you would go out and search for a rock, but not just any rock. You had to go out and find a rock that already had a hole in it. When you found it you could use that hole to make something for your friend back home.
Well this particular year, when he got home he gave me a necklace he had made at his sports camp. It was pretty simple, a leather cord going through a hole in a rock, but I knew this wasn’t just any rock. He had searched for this rock, spent time looking for it to show me how much our friendship had come to mean to him.
Unfortunately, we didn’t end our friendship well. I hurt him in some pretty harsh ways, but I keep that rock hanging on my rearview mirror in my car as a reminder of the friendship I had and as a reminder to love and care for the relationships God has given to me. Deep and meaningful friendships truly are a gift.
Galatians 6:1—Here God tells us that community is good for calling out with love the bad things that we do. It is our brothers and sisters in Christ who God often to speak to us and show us a better way.
Psalm 34:3—Another thing we can do in community is praise God together. There is something very uplifting about being able to worship together.
1 Corinthians 8:13—We sacrifice for our friends. If we know something is a temptation for them, we try to help and protect them.
Philippians 1:9–10—We pray for our friends, that they would know God and know his love.
Romans 15:5–6—We encourage our friends just like Paul encouraged those he wrote to.
Small Group Guide:
Large Group Guide:
Look at the different people in your life. There may be somebody that you need to be a better friend to. How can you be a better friend to them? Write it out or find something to remind you what being a good friend looks like.
Go back and check out Romans 15:5–6. Paul takes the time to truly encourage his friends in Rome. How can you encourage your friends this week and let them know they are truly appreciated?
Maybe for you making friends is hard. Take some time to think about what makes a good friend. For me, I believe that some of the most important things when cultivating deep and meaningful friendships are time, trust and mutual respect. Those things have to be there for friendship to take root. Other things that may help are common interests, groups or hobbies. Maybe it’s time to get out there and try something new. Make an action plan. What will you do this week to put yourself out there and be a friend? Don’t wait for someone to come to you. Pray that God would open doors and help you move forward.
Check out this article by TIME Magazine. It talks about the power of friendship and one woman’s account of how her friendships helped her to change her behavior. When you look at this article think about these questions…
- Have you ever watched one of your friends change their behavior and liked it so much that you tried it as well? What was that like? How did it happen? Did it last?
- Did you notice how she talked about our drive and desire to be with other people? That lines up with what scripture says! How can you see that in your own life?
- What are different things you want to change to be more successful? Who can you have join you?