[Sisters], if a [friend] is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6: 1-2 NKJ).
My favorite line in the movie Shrek, is when the donkey says… “Only a true friend would be that honest.”
Sometimes honesty hurts, but a true friend will correct you in love. They care more about your character than your feelings. God identifies this kind of person as a true and faithful friend.
God in His wisdom and grace always provides richly for His children in every way. Christian friendship is one of God’s provisions that allows us to stay on the straight and narrow path. However, sometimes we can miss true friendship. Too often, we sneer at the friend who lovingly corrects us, while being drawn to others whose words drip with sugar coated flattery. Yet, the Father instructs His spirit-led children to love, encourage, and gently restore the one who has fallen least they too be tempted. Therefore, we should take notice of the friend who cares enough to carry our burden of sin until we are re-established. God has placed this spiritually mature friend in our lives to reinstate us, strengthen us, and help us to grow in Christ.
Here are some things to look for in a true Christian friend.
1.) A true spirit-led friend will let you know when you have sinned. While this is often painful, Proverbs 27:6 says that wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. (NLT)
2.) A true friend is humble. They can be trusted not to spread rumors about you, because they know that they, too, are susceptible to sin as you are Gal 6:1. (NLT)
3.) A true friend loves at all times Proverbs 17:17 (NLT). They are available in good times and bad. They do not judge or criticize, but are motivated by love in all things.
4.) A true friend will help carry your burdens. They never give up on you. They endure through prayer and counsel for as long as it takes. They will weep with you when you weep and rejoice with you when you rejoice Rom. 12:15. (NLT)
Having a true Christian friend is not only a benefit provided by God, but it’s also a necessity for growth, for fulfilling God’s law, and for provision as we do life together.
I hope you are enjoying and learning much about friendship on this week’s tour by Rachel Olsen. I know that I appreciate and value your friendship as you encourage me on my journey. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. And thank you for sharing yours with me. While I can’t always return a comment, I do pray for you…that God will keep you and guide you. That He will fill you with His love, conquer your temptations, strengthen your faith, and use you in a mighty way to bring Him glory.
As I write to you tonight. I’ve just arrived home from a wonderful weekend in Chicago. I had the privilege of speaking to a group of ladies—some whom God has pulled literally from the trenches. They changed my life. These ladies, like us, knew they needed Jesus. But they took it a step further. They want Him. They expect God to touch, heal, restore, change, and save their lives.
There’s no better or closer friend than Jesus. If you don’t know him, click here.
Please pray for me as I travel, once again, in the morning to GA. May He who is faithful, continue to change lives. Change mine, Oh, God, change mine.