“What are your friendships like?”
a devotional by Marissa Mathews
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:35
What do your friendships with other Christians look like? Are they any different than your friendships with others?
If I were to look at my life, I’d say that the better I know a Christian friend, the more different our friendship looks than a friendship with a non-Christian that’s just as close. Jesus said that what would set us apart would be our love for each other.
So let me ask again, what do your friendships with other Christians look like?
Are they encouraging to both you and your friend?
Do you continually point each other back to God?
Do you challenge each other to look more like Christ every day, or every week, or however often you may meet?
Do you forgive each other for when you get hurt?
Are you sensitive to apologize when you see you’ve done them wrong?
Are you brave enough to talk to them about how they’ve done you wrong?
Or do you nip and pick at each other? Make fun of each other? Make jokes to get people laughing with you, at the other’s expense? Do you try to get even when you feel offended? Do you make rude remarks without thinking about the other? Do you hold offense against one another? Do you dig up past arguments? I’ve done all of these. I see them happening all around me. I’m no less at risk for committing these relational crimes than you are, so as someone who’s fighting that same fight, let me instruct you a bit.
Friendships within the Church are meant to glorify God and to point others back to Him. Because God is not seen or touched by physical bodies, our relationship with Him is reflected by our relationships with others.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. But whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” —1 John 4:7-8.
Our friendships with Christians ought to be so radically different from how the world does them that non-Christians look at us and think, “What’s wrong with you?!”
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with us: We’ve been changed by amazing grace, that’s what.
We’ve known the love of God and reflect it to our friends, that’s what. We forgive each other when we hurt each other, and we confess to each other when we’ve done something wrong.
We’re children of God, that’s what’s up with us.