Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Purpose of Friendships

What do you think is the true purpose of friendship? Why should we bother to become good friends with people? Is it just because we share a common interest or like being around them? What should be our purpose in developing friendships?

Here are my thoughts on the purpose of friendships:

To Sharpen. Prov. 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”. By our words and conversations we can sharpen one another!

To Encourage. Friendships are good to develop “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith”. (Romans 1:12)
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up”.
1 Thess. 5:11
“We...encouraged you ... to walk in a manner worthy of God”
1 Thess. 2:12
“Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
1 Thess. 4:18

To Exhort. “He exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” Acts 11:23. 1 Tim. 4:13 tells us to “devote yourself to… exhortation”. Heb. 3:13 even reminds us to “exhort one another every day”. What a great goal to set—to exhort someone every day!

To Hold Accountable. Everyone needs accountability. So use your friendships to ask questions and hold each other accountable!

To Challenge. How can you challenge your friends today? Is there a specific situation going on in their life that you can challenge and encourage them in?

To Learn From. Phil. 4:9 declares “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things”. No one is perfect, and we each have different strengths and weaknesses. But we can each learn from one another in so many ways! This is especially true with those older than you; make sure you listen to those who are older and wiser to learn! And don’t forget that there are always those younger than you, and you are the person that those younger friends are learning from!

To Inspire. 1 Timothy 4:12 “But set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Through discussions and example we can inspire one another towards godliness! Isn’t that an amazing thought?

To Minister. Friendships should not be selfish, thinking of what you can get out of the other person, but instead giving. Think of how you can minister to those around you, the ones God wants you to be friends to.

Do you have other thoughts? Other reasons why you think it is healthy to develop godly friendships? Practicals on how to develop godly friendships? I would love to hear your thoughts. :)


Southern Maiden said...

It's always so helpful to have a godly friend in the fight with us. To not be alone. We are never really ALONE, I mean, we have the Lord! But God cares about us and gives us friends, like companions, to go along with us down the narrow way. Godly friends are blessings from God.

I really like this post, Allison, because I have been friends with someone before just because we were similar. Well, that's not smart! Similarities can change so rapidly, and then the friends would lose interest in eachother.

Friendship needs to be built on a solid foundation, otherwise you should just call yourselves aquaintences. I believe God saved that friendship of mine, because I and my friend realized that we weren't sharpening eachother, or challenging eachother - except when we got competitive. (oops) We were learning from eachother, but that's not gonna cut it. It's sometimes been a rocky friendship, because we didn't try from the very beginning to be godly helpers to eachother. You gave some very good thoughts.

Tiffany said...

I agree with your thoughts on friendship, Allison. I have often wondered that myself; "Why should we bother to become good friends with people?" Your post hits the nail on the head.
I also think that good friendships help us to get through difficult times and seasons in our lives. I suppose this falls under the 'Encourage' category, and I have found that my friends have been fantastic encourager's in my life in both direct and indirect ways.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this post!

Maiden of Purity said...

Love this post!

I loved the fact of how you including scripture within this post, and also how you added points of friendship and how it goes along with the Bible. As I was reading it, I found myself along those lines a few times, and knew that this post was made especially for me (LOL).

To encourage and sharpen is something that hit me, because I'm not always doing that, but rather the opposite. I have realized over the past few months that friendships should be just as you mentioned, encouraging one another, sharpening each other, challenging each other, etc. I have struggled in the past with a friend, and God knows why we continued on. The flesh may say no, but He says yes! Great post Allison!


P.S. Got home last night, check my blog for details!

Katie said...

There is a line in Beautiful Girlhood that I love: "New friends spring up and fall away, but old friends cling to you through all"
If you take time to seriously invest in friendships all your friends will cling to you through all.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
P.s. Did I mention I agree with 100%?

Kristen said...

This is such a great reminder, Allison! I need to focus on these priorities in relationships a lot more than I do!