“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light” ~ Hellen Keller
In the Church, there is often an astonishing value imposed on community, fellowship, and the like. Rightfully so, may I add.
But when do we ever break from the “bigger picture” and focus on the element that makes God’s ideal image of community and the Church so grand? Here, I am referring to friends.
Everybody likes having friends, but what of the love for a friend?
In the specific context, I am referring to good friends. This is not a message discussing what makes a good or bad friend but simply the Godly ideal of cherishing one another.
In his work, Spiritual Direction, author Henri Nouwen refers to spiritual companions as “soul friends.” This is a work that I have read recently, and a phrase that at first had me conflicted, but grew on me.
Reason being, good friendships and connections go beyond physical enrichment. This is often how it is manifested, but Christians are to grow inside (Spirit, meditation of the Word), out (Fruits of the Spirit).
No longer do we have to grow outside (Messages from the World), in (Corruption of the Heart).
Good friendships edify the inner man and speak those things that uplift (1 Thessalonians 5:11-13)!
Giving real perspective, this is why I believe my relationship with my fiancé has been so solid. Our friendship was molded firstly around the things that God loves: His Word and His creation. We bonded first off, in middle school through a Christian club we found called “Children of Light” (Ephesians 5:8).
My dear Hallie became my “soul friend” before she doubled her role as my “soul mate.”
In friendship, strive to be more than an acquaintance masquerading behind the title of friend. Let’s do what friends are called to do and build each other up (Romans 14:19).